Few places in the world are like North Korea.
It is a nation surrounded with conspiracy and speculation. You can mindlessly spend hours watching documentary after documentary, and feel no closer to understanding the reality of this remote country. We think of North Korea as an isolated nation, uniquely frightening, ruled by a mad dictator who refuses to be answerable for his inexcusable behavior toward his own people.
But there is so much that remains untold.
The truth is that North Korea once burned bright with the light of the Gospel, drawing people from all over the world to experience its revivals. The Gospel so permeated the nation that its capital, Pyongyang, became known as ‘The Jerusalem of the East,’ and the evidence was seen in its society and its people. Churches stood openly on street corners, Bible schools were filled and missionaries shared with the people the hope they had received.
This image could not be further from the North Korea we see today. North Korea is still one of the most unreached nations in the world and one of the most vigilantly closed to the Gospel.
Several months ago, a user on BTJ’s new social media platform DingDash, wanted to begin a prayer chain for North Korea. Other users responded and it led us to turn to our “30-day prayer guide for North Korea”, written two years ago. And so… we prayed.
At BTJ, we believe that it will take more than good people doing good things. It will take more than Christians throwing up a prayer to God at an annual mission conference. It requires us to fight – to fight on behalf of those who are unable to fight for themselves. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
The day after BTJ launched the 30 days of prayer for North Korea, something amazing happened – the North Korean government reached out to BTJ for help.
Due to the global effects of COVID, closed borders with China, and enforced international sanctions, North Korea has been hit; the current policies have left the people to suffer. However, as believers joined us in praying for North Korea, the results were immediate! The next day, a private message came from one of our contacts saying that North Korean government officials had reached out through a back channel and asked for help. We cannot share the details of the message for security reasons, but we can say that God heard the prayers of His people!
Here are some of the prayers from believers on DingDash:
“I have been praying for North Korea for decades. I remember at the millennium turn hoping it would be that year. But change still has not happened. Prior to that I had a verse of scripture given and my interpretation of that was that God was ready but there had not been enough prayer.”
“I am loving these devotions. The stories are amazing and heartbreaking, but inspiring. I hope and pray that God will bring Salvation to many through this time.”
“I pray our Lord and Savior bless, guide and strengthen the church in North Korea! Help them endure and share the gospel!”
We say “Amen!” with our brothers and sisters who prayed with us for North Korea throughout the month of August. We know that a day is coming when North Korea will once again experience the liberation and hope that only the Gospel of Christ can bring, but the Church must continue to pray.