PRAYER ALERT: North Korea has remained No. 1 in persecuting Christians on this year’s World Watch List. Known for its genocide of millions of its own citizens, North Korea is now aiming its venom at the world. On April 10 the North briefly raised a missile into its upright firing position. US defense officials warned that the probability of a launch was “very high.” Many expect that a missile launch will occur before the April 15th birthday of the North’s late founder, Kim Il-Sung. North Korea has declared that its nuclear warheads already have coordinates for their targets. “Just pressing the button will be enough to turn the strongholds of the enemies into the sea of fire,” the North’s “Peaceful Reunification” committee said.
Tensions have never risen so high since the end of the Korean War. This show of force is only the latest of aggressive actions that threaten to back up North Korea’s inflammatory rhetoric that it will send nuclear strikes on South Korean, Japanese and US targets.
- Nullifying the armistice that ended the Korean War
- Restarting a reactor that generates plutonium used in nuclear weapons-grade
- Closing an industrial complex operated jointly with South Korea.
China, its long-time ally, has been critical and voted for UN sanctions against North Korea. And yet China has violated those sanctions by moving tanks, military vehicles and mobile missile launchers to its border with the North. This is more troubling considering the fact that the Chinese army has been aiming hacker attacks against the US State and Defense Departments (see “Prayer Alert: Chinese army unit hacks into US infrastructure”). China is the main prop for North Korea’s impoverished economy.
So far, North Korea’s victims have been its own people. In committing genocide it is especially persecuting Christians. Anyone found attending an underground church service or even possessing a Bible faces the death sentence. Persecuting Christians goes as far as forcing one’s family members to watch his or her execution before they are executed too. In prison labor camps, persecuting Christians takes the form of torture, or the worst kinds of jobs, such as cleaning septic tanks. That is why thousands of Christians are in hiding. This is a time to pray that such outrages will not spread to other nations but rather stop.
PRAY WITH US. Father God, You are all-powerful and yet tender toward all people whom You have made in Your image. North Korea has used what little power it has for killing perceived enemies and persecuting Christians. Now that it has added nuclear power, North Korea is pointing it at its neighbor, South Korea, among others. And South Korea is Asia’s most Christian nation. Your people there are holding up the North in constant prayer. They are eager to send thousands of missionaries to the North as soon as its doors open. And You are the one who opens doors and shuts them.
Shut the doors on any plans to attack the South, Japan, or the US island of Guam. Lead China to clearly repudiate such plans. Disable weapons and still accusing tongues. Open the doors to peacemakers who will turn the hearts of North Korea’s leaders like a watercourse. Stop them from persecuting Christians and their own people. Let Your good news spread. Let the hearts of North Koreans turn toward South Koreans, just as hearts of South Koreans have turned toward them. Let the curse on that land turn to blessing. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Regime has long been persecuting Christians
Operation World, Jason Mandryk