“This is a Bible from 1922. When reunification comes, bring this page of the Bible for binding. If you cannot bring it yourself, please pass it on to someone who can so that we will have all the pages to complete the Bible.”
In 2014 an ANM partner gathered dozens of ministries from South Korea, the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, and China to make plans to help the North Korean church. The joint effort is called Korean Reconciliation Initiative and Network (known as KRIN). Their goal is to support the 2,000 underground churches in North Korea now and in the reunification they believe is coming soon.
In this first KRIN meeting in Seoul, Korea, a total of 382 pages from the 1922 Bible were given to these representatives. This version is significant because it is one of the first Korean Bibles printed entirely in the Korean alphabet. The pages are preserved in plexiglass frames with the page number and scripture reference identified.
Two ANM staff members at the meeting received a page. “Receiving the Bible page was emotionally and spiritually moving,” Eric Vess said. “To think that I might be even a small participant in this much-anticipated sovereign move of God in North Korea was powerful and humbling beyond words.”
Dan Reichard said, “When I was told that one day all of us who had been given a page would meet in Pyongyang North Korea to reassemble the Bible at the Pyongyang Christian Church, I felt, for the first time, what North Korea would one day be, when the ‘Son shine’ of the gospel floods the Hermit Kingdom. This page torn from the whole 1922 Bible is symbolic of the tearing of North and South Korea in 1953 along the 38th parallel. One day, we pray for the reunification of one Korea as symbolized in the reunification of the pages of that NK Bible being made whole again.”
What will happen when the North Korean regime falls?
For some time, military, political, and economic experts have said, “The fall of North Korea is imminent.” Many soldiers are deserting because the government has no money to feed its gigantic military machine. The people are starving to death, while the Kim family lives in unrestrained luxury and unchallenged power. Even Kim’s international allies are backing away from the threats of the “mad man.”
The KRIN delegates do not want to be taken by surprise as many Christians were at the fall of the Soviet Union. They are planning an all-out effort of God’s people to come alongside and “Rescue North Korea.”
They also believe that instead of waiting for the nation to fall, we should make every effort to proclaim the gospel in North Korea now by every means possible. Of the estimated 125,000-200,000 Christians in North Korea 20,000 are in prisons and labor camps. Through KRIN, Bibles, radio broadcasts, gospel literature, discipleship videos, and humanitarian aid flow secretly into the country. The days are coming when the need for trauma counseling, Christian leadership training, construction, and sustainable development will be essential to overcome the 70 years of dictatorship of the Kim dynasty.
Reconciliation with God, South Korea, and the world is at hand. KRIN is gathering prayer warriors and supporters in all areas to be ready to help immediately when the doors are open.
And 382 pages of the Korean Bible will be re-bound as another testimony to God’s faithfulness.