Close of Border Impedes Missionary Activities to North Korea

12/21/2020 North Korea (International Christian Concern) – After North Korea closed its border with China to fend off COVID-19 from entering the country since earlier this year, Christian organizations have suspended Bible smuggling activities into the North.

According to Daily NK, the leader of a missionary group doing work in North Korea who asked to remain anonymous shared that “activities to send Bibles, religious books and rice to North Korea haven’t been going well since the border was closed because of COVID-19.” He added that they previously used people or smuggling to send Bibles into the North, but “those channels are now completely blocked.”

Due to the closure, the Nehemiah Global Initiative (NGI), which has sent rice and bibles to North Korea as part of its “Sea Route Project,” turned its focus to helping young North Korean defectors settle in South Korea and teaching them English.

In response to the situation, NGI is also using phone call or text to share the Gospel as an alternative. “One-on-one missionary activity of preaching the Bible by telephone has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said the head of the missionary group.

The good news is, North Koreans’ desire to learn about the Truth seems to grow as the country struggles financially and their access to the outside world denied due to the pandemic. North Koreans are more receptive to the Gospel than before, and there are even recent cases of North Koreans asking for Bibles, the head of the missionary group told Daily NK.

He added that as of late, North Koreans often say things like, “The situation is difficult, but thank you for not letting me starve” and “I’m grateful that I can pray.”

“For North Koreans, who don’t know about God or religion, to use words like ‘thank you’ and ‘pray’ is exceptional,” he noted.

Those who have accepted Christ are forming secret prayer groups with family members to whom they can confide. In a country where Christian faith can mean death, these new believers’ commitment to their faith is encouraging and inspiring.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.

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