Hope for the Hermit Kingdom | Persecution

Bandaging and building the persecuted Church since 1995

Hope for the Hermit Kingdom

By Mike Anderson

04/14/2022 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – North Korea is one of the worst places to be a Christian. It’s also one of the best places to share the gospel because people are suffering under the evil regime of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. North Koreans hunger for Christ.

That’s why International Christian Concern (ICC) is committed to building the church in North Korea. ICC partners with a group to broadcast gospel radio messages twice a day into the hermit kingdom.

ICC learned from a source that the morning and evening radio messages were having an impact: “God is on the move in North Korea, revival is underway, and radio broadcasting is critical.”

The source shared in an email the testimonies of several defectors:

“My friend smuggled a radio from China, and I could not stop myself from listening even though I knew I could be discovered and sent to a political prison camp. Just listening secretly to the radio for three nights, decades of indoctrination were peeled away…It was through [radio] that I found out what life was like outside North Korea.” — Kim

“God is working in North Korea with power. Christianity is alive in North Korea and there is revival. Many people are listening to radio broadcasts.” — Ju

“Nine years ago, I started listening to the radio with my father. It opened our eyes…All varieties of getting information into North Korea are important, but radio is crucial.” —Ju

“People are so thirsty for information; they are making their own radios…This is a regime built on lies, just countering with the truth, the regime will crumble… Information gives them a fresh life.” — Huh

“There are many underground churches in North Korea that are striving to spread the gospel. For instance, during last year’s Christmas, some people secretly handed out Christmas gifts to others…Right now, people inside North Korea want to rise up against the regime. There is so much discontent inside and it is at every level of society…When North Koreans come to South Korea, they fully realize how really bad their situation was in North Korea. It is humiliating and they wonder how much of their life was lost because they were born in North Korea…I guarantee you we will continue to fight to end the Kim regime, so please be our friend and ally” —Jang

Defector Voices

In November 2021, ICC named Kim Jong-un Persecutor of the Year for the “individuals” category. During the unveiling of the comprehensive, 140-page Persecutor of the Year report and announcement in Washington, D.C., defectors Jinhye Jo and Kim Seong-min (via video) shared their testimonies about life in North Korea.

Jo fled in 2008 and founded the nonprofit North Korean Refugees in the United States, which helps facilitate the escape and resettlement of North Koreans in America. Seong-min was a lieutenant political commissar before his defection in 1995.

In a lengthy interview, Seong-min traced the longstanding roots of persecution.

North Koreans are guaranteed the freedom of religion under the constitution, but a subclause stipulates that “the people shall not use religion to bring foreign influence in the state or to disrupt the social order of the state.”

“The Kim regime brainwashes the people to think Christianity is a tool employed by the upper class to oppress and exploit the lower class,” Seong-min said. “And it has been historically used by imperialists to invade other states.”

Seong-min noted that the regime promotes anti-Christian sentiment in elementary schools through textbooks, and in movies, TV shows, and novels. The rhetoric continues at the Anti-Spy exhibition in Pyongyang, the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Memorial, and the Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities in South Hwanghae.

Because of the shared animosity among the people toward Christianity in North Korea, the regime’s arrests, executions, imprisonments, and exiles of Christians are justified, he explained.

“What I know of and have experienced in the North is only the tip of the iceberg. More horrendous persecutions toward Christians are still occurring in the North. And the regime does not tolerate any religion other than their own which reveres (the Kim dynasty).

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