Here in America, we know our rights. Right to speak freely, right to property, right to assemble, right to petition, and so on. The only real exception to our rights is when we violate’s someone else’s, in which case we receive a new set of rights: right to remain silent, right to an attorney, etc. But in some countries, like North Korea, it’s the other way around. You have the right to be influenced by and serve the government, a sad trait of all Communist regimes.
North Korea has been voted the worst nation in terms of human rights violations, at least for Christians. Owning a Bible can get you sent to prison, killed, or sent to a concentration camp. Yes, those still exist. Since 1949, churches have been closed or destroyed, Catholic and Protestant priests have been executed or deported, and even the vast majority of Buddhist churches have been closed, and their monks killed.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian writer and anti-Soviet activist who lived under the USSR’s gulag from his birth in 1918 until his expulsion in the 70’s spoke at Harvard once about his experiences in his home country, about how his family would gather at the dinner table, asking why all these terrors had come upon them. Solzhenitsyn told the students there, “It’s because we have forgotten God,” a statement received with much derision.
North Korea is an atheist State. They have forgotten God, and what’s more, they have banned Him and proceeded to kill any who invite Him to return.
Of the 20 million inhabitants, less than half a million are Christians. They are unable to even teach their children about Christ until they are old enough to understand the need to remain silent about Him. One of my personal joys is when my little sister, who’s nearly five now, sings worship songs in the car or prays before a meal or after conquering the monkey bars on the playground says excitedly, “I trusted Jesus!” How much would we have to retrain her later if during these formative years of her life we weren’t able to teach her about the Lord?
Pray for the people of North Korea.
Pray for the protection of Christians against the oppression of their government and its spies. Pray for them to gain rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Pray for the leaders of the country, Kim Jong-Un (the late leader’s son) and his subordinates and police force. Pray for the conversion of non-believers. Pray for the removal of the Communist regime and for a peaceful transition to a freer society and government. Pray for God’s comfort and strength to fill the Christians who are living in fear. Pray for better conditions in their prisons and for the closing of the concentration and labor camps. Pray for freedom of the media in North Korea (as of now, only government-produced media is allowed). Pray for revival and an outpouring of God’s Spirit upon that whole nation and for His justice to reign there.