Day 2: Killing Revival

Believe it or not, North Korea was once recognized as one of the most thriving places for Christianity in all of Asia. The entire city of Pyongyang was dotted with missionary schools and training centers. 800 Christians schools educated more than 41,000 children in the current capital city of Pyongyang alone! The Christian education system was so good that foreign missionaries from all over Asia sent their children to boarding schools in Pyongyang.

One such example was Ruth Bell-Graham, the wife of Billy Graham. Ruth was born and raised in China as a missionary kid, but her parents sent her to secondary school in Pyongyang to get a superior Christian education.

In the early 1900’s, a huge movement known as the Wonsan Revival swept over the peninsula. In 1904, more than 10,000 Koreans were baptized. The number doubled in the next two years. The revival spilled over the Chinese border into Jilin Province where Christian missionary Jonathon Goforth gathered crowds of 25,000 per day. The Wonson Revival was overshadowed by the Pyongyang Revival of 1907.

One believer there to witness it, George McCune, said that the outpouring of the Spirit of God on the people and church during the Pyongyang Revival was the most empowering presence of the Holy Spirit ever, surpassing even the revivals in Wales and India. One could hardly walk anywhere in the city and not see missionaries and local evangelists passing out tracts, or inviting you in to one of the church services.

Kim Il Sung grew up in the society that was shaped by these churches. His knowledge of the power of the Holy Spirit makes his conversion to atheism even more dramatic. He, like Lucifer, saw the majesty of God and said to himself, “I will ascend to heaven, above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high. I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will make myself like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

Kim Il Sung was able to create a personality cult where he alone was praised and worshipped. He simply used the methods of God’s people that he was familiar with, and perverted them for his own glorification.

Prayer Points:

  • North Koreans have a rich history of revival.
  • The founder of North Korea benefited from the fruits of the Korean revival.
  • The people of North Korea need the refreshing waters of revival that once flowed freely in their land.

Today’s Scripture Reading:

Exodus 15:2-3
Jehovah is my strength and song, And he is become my salvation: This is my God, and I will praise him; My father’s God, and I will exalt him. Jehovah is a man of war: Jehovah is his name.