Day 20: Steam Roller

One defector told the US Commission about his memories as a soldier in the North Korean army. He can remember in 1996 when his unit was asked to tear down a vacant house in Yongkang County that was in a construction zone. When they began to tear down the foundation, they found a small notebook in the debris.

Upon inspection, it turned out to contain a church roster with the names of a pastor, two assistant pastors, and other local Christians. The contraband was immediately handed over to the authorities. The 25 people who were listed in the notebook were arrested and brought to the road construction site.

Five of those detained were listed as leaders and were bound and laid down on the ground. The other 20 were forced to stand on the side. Announcements were quickly made to get other observers to come out and watch. The five Christian leaders lay on the ground while a large steamroller was positioned in front of them. They were told to reject Jesus Christ and serve only Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il or they would die.

None of the Christian leaders said a word.

They were given another chance to save their lives. These five leaders were told that they could continue living their lives and things would go back to the way that they were if they would only deny the name of Jesus Christ. They were given the same options that Nebuchadnezzar gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before the flaming furnace and that the Romans gave countless Christians when facing the roaring lions. People in the crowd began to cry out, begging them to denounce Christ to save their own lives, but the Christians refused to deny the name of Jesus.

Finally, the order was given to the driver of the steamroller to kill them. Witnesses said that they could hear the gruesome sound of their skulls popping when the steamroller crushed them to death. Those believers earned a martyr’s crown that day.


Prayer Points:

  • Christians in North Korea regularly face the choice between death or Christ
  • The level of persecution has not changed since the Communist took over in the 1950’s
  • Continue to pray for the believers that God has raised up in the nation of North Korea


Today’s Scripture Reading:

Matthew 24:9-14
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.