News / Thoughts

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News / Thoughts

North Korea: Message from a secret believer

May 23, 2022

North Korea has officially declared its first cases of Covid-19, more than two years after the virus began its rapid spread across the world. The outbreak of the Omicron variant in Pyongyang was reported on 12 May and has led to Kim Jong-un enforcing strict lockdowns across the country.

But as is often the case with North Korea, what’s portrayed officially by the country is very different to the reality. Open Doors sources say that the current situation with Covid-19 is worse than is being reported, which echoes what a secret fieldworker shared in August 2020 about the ‘ghost disease’ that was rife in the country.

More challenges for believers in North Korea

While the extent to which the country has been hit by Covid-19 is unclear, what is clearer is the impact it’s had on reaching believers with help. The restrictions faced by Open Doors fieldworkers have made it one of the hardest challenges the ministry has faced. But despite this, God has made ways for projects to continue, ensuring that our North Korean family have remained upheld by your support.

However, with Kim Jong-Un reinforcing strict lockdowns throughout all regions of North Korea to prevent the spread of the virus, our work in the region – such as secret deliveries and the safe house ministry – may be affected. There is also the inevitable impact on the North Korean economy, with the exponential rise in prices for food and other necessities having a potentially devastating effect on people, including secret believers. Meanwhile, the government is clamping down on any suspicious activities, meetings, travel and unusual possessions.

A message smuggled from a secret believer

Ultimately, it all presents another challenge to our North Korean family. But as always, they’re sticking close to Jesus, as shown in a secret letter we recently received from an underground church leader.

“Especially through the coronavirus pandemic and several great natural disasters that followed the virus, things seem to threaten us in every way,” the letter says. “Difficulties and hindrances lay hidden here and there, but because we know that the Lord allows us to unite together as one to share the faith and fellowship, we walk upon the way of a pilgrim that trusts and follows the Lord.”

Please join us in praying with the underground believers of North Korea, who are fixing their eyes on ‘the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast’ (1 Peter 5:10).

Pray now…

  • That Open Doors fieldworkers will be given wisdom, guidance and boldness as they navigate these latest challenges, and ask God to protect them
  • That secret believers will be provided with all their physical and spiritual needs, and guarded from harm
  • That the virus will be contained and that the country’s economy will stabilise.

Four things you can do now:

1. Learn more and pray: Get our free glow-in-the-dark World Watch List Map and find out more about the places where faith costs the most. Get your map here…

2. Pray regularly: Every Monday night at 7pm we’ll be praying one prayer for one minute for the one in seven Christians around the world who face persecution. Set an alarm and tune in…

3. Choose to Lose: Raise money by getting sponsored to lose something you love for a short time. Sign up and we’ll send you a fundraising pack…

4. Send a message of hope: Imagine getting a letter from a Christian on the other side of the world who’d heard about you and was praying for you – encouraging right? Well, you can send encouragement now to young Christians facing persecution. Do that here now…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.