The voices are scratchy, and sometimes cut out altogether, and the only time to tune in is during the darkest hours of the night. But for the secret listeners of a radio ministry broadcast into North Korea, the quality of the recording isn’t a problem, because it’s remarkable such a thing is even accessible to them.
In North Korea, the Bible is illegal, and daring to believe in a higher power than the nation’s ruler could lead to death for you and your family. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could ever hear the gospel, let alone grow in their faith. But radio broadcasts are difficult for the authorities to control – and secret believers are making the most of it.
Each night, Christians can listen to worship, sermons and other Christian programmes.
“Thank you for the radio programmes. We get strengthened and encouraged in our spiritual life,” shares a believer in a secret message to Open Doors. “The contents of the programmes are very helpful in training leaders and believers, and in understanding the Bible. Some learned what it’s like to live by faith, some experienced and learned more of God’s love, and some became convinced of salvation.”
Unsurprisingly, there are challenges to getting programmes broadcast. The North Korean authorities attempt to disrupt frequencies, while radios can be difficult to access or fix. But the greatest threat is being discovered with a radio, as it can lead to arrest, imprisonment or worse. Yet such is the longing for spiritual food that believers are willing to take the risk by having one.
Amazingly, one programme featured messages from Open Doors supporters around the world. This deeply moved many secret believers, powerfully reminding them that they are not alone. “Thanks to your support and prayers, we continue to develop, record and air Christian programmes for persecuted North Korean believers, who otherwise would have difficulties maintaining their faith life,” explains James*, an Open Doors worker who serves the ministry.
“We hope to be a faithful help to our persecuted families until the day when they are freed in God’s timing and become salt and light to the rest of the world.”
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We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.