In Tuesday’s post we gave an introduction to Advancing Native Missions’ work and partnerships in the Far East. Most of our work is centered in China and in North Korea. While the level of persecution in China is generally less than in years past, there are many places in China where those standing for and spreading the Gospel are still experiencing persecution.
North Korea is a different story. Without fear of contradiction, we can say that North Korea has the most repressive and hostile government in the world today. Human Rights Watch has named it so for the last 12 years in a row. Simply being a Christian in North Korea is considered a heinous crime punishable by 7 years in the labor camps (prisons), and to evangelize for Christ is punishable by death. We estimate that there are about 20,000 believers who are currently held in work/prison camps because of their faith.
So what can we do? Where do we begin? At ANM you will often see the three words, “Pray…Give…Go.” That is our strategy, and the strategy begins with the foundational component: we can pray. Prayer is not simply a formality or “the thing we do when there is a need.” Prayer is our connection with the omnipotence of God.
Did you know that persecution and martyrdom of Christians is still going on today? In fact, almost 700 believers, every day, pay the ultimate price for their faith. Did you know that more Christians have been martyred for their faith in the last 100 years than in all of the first 1900 years of Church history? The most important question is, how can we pray for our brothers and sisters who are facing persecution? May we suggest a simple way to pray for these precious brethren?
Sunday: Pray for the underground church, that Christians will be able to worship freely on this day in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ (Psalm 102:20).
Monday: Pray that the faithful will have victory in the midst of suffering, and courage when confronted with persecution (Isaiah 49:13).
Tuesday: Pray that the Bible will be delivered to every home in China and North Korea (Ephesians 6:17).
Wednesday: Pray that the underground churches will multiply (Acts 16:5).
Thursday: Pray for the conversion of the leaders of China and North Korea, that they will become like Saul of Tarsus, and that they will lead their nations to spiritual revival (1 Timothy 2:2–4).
Friday: Pray for the underground churches to unite for total evangelization of China and Korea (Colossians 2:2).
Saturday: Pray that churches will be planted in every city, town, and village in the Far East (2 Chronicles 22:5).
The needs of North Korea are great, but the greatest need is for prayer. Not everyone can give. Few, if any, can go to the closed country of North Korea. But all can pray.
Dan Reichard contributed this post. Dan is ANM’s desk director for the Far East and part of ANM’s chaplains team.