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Praying for Believers in North Korea

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(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, February 17, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

North Korea: Population: 25.9 million, Christians 400,000

Although North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in reality it functions as a totalitarian regime. Driven by a paranoid tyrannical leader, persecution pervades every aspect of civic, social, family, and private life. While formally North Korea is an atheistic country its constitution nominally grants freedom of religious belief but prohibits the use of religion for “drawing in foreign forces or for harming the State.” According to the document, “The government treats religion as a threat to the state-propagated ideology known as Juche, which preaches ‘self-reliance and self-development.”

Under North Korea’s songbun system, citizens are classified based on their perceived loyalty to the state. Religious practitioners belong to the “hostile” class, which limits their access to educational and employment opportunities, as well as other state benefits.  North Korea has a network of prison camps (kyohwaso) and labor training camps (rodongdanryondae) to house an estimated 80,000–120,000 prisoners of conscience and other citizens declared “enemies of the state.” Experts estimate that tens of thousands of these prisoners are Christians, the majority of whom were arrested by the Ministry of State Security because they possessed a Bible.

Christians are particularly vulnerable for targeting because they are viewed as having ties with Western countries, and thus posing a threat of foreign infiltration. Even family members often must keep their faith secret from one another for fear of discovery. Fellowship with other believers in group worship poses too great a risk. “There are no formally registered, independent houses of worship in North Korea. The government has established several state-sponsored religious organizations and permits five churches to operate in Pyongyang. However, human rights groups and defectors from the country allege that these institutions exist merely to provide the illusion of religious freedom.’’

Anyone caught practicing religion or even suspected of harboring religious views in private is subject to severe punishment, including arrest, torture, imprisonment, and execution. The possession and distribution of religious texts remains a criminal offense under North Korean law, so proselytization is impossible. Being found with mere pages of a Bible could result in immediate death or imprisonment in one of the terrible prison or labor camps where slave labor, torture, deprivation, and death are commonplace. Despite these realities, it is estimated that there are 200,000 to 400,000 “secret” Christians in North Korea. According to one report published by Open Doors. at least 200,000 Christians have gone missing.  

Given the extreme persecution, it is a miracle that the North Korean underground church is not only able to exist but is reported to be thriving and growing. One Christian dreams that “one day the borders will open and [they] will unite with the South Korean and the Chinese church to bring the gospel to some of the darkest places on this earth.”

  • Pray for the Lord to change the heart of Kim Jong Un and the other leaders of NK.
  • Pray Christians who worship secretly, that the Lord will keep them safe from informers.
  • Pray for the Lord to comfort Christians families who are in prison – the inhuman prisons and labor camps.
  • Pray For Christian parents as they struggle to tell their kids about Jesus.
  • Pray that NGOs will support Christians whose family members have been imprisoned for their witness.
  • Pray for North Koreans as they deal with famine conditions and COVID-19 problems due to closed border to China S Koreas can’t send food support to Christians.
  • Pray that front line workers are protected and equipped, have the tools to advance the kingdom.
  • Providing Bibles even though they are considered illegal by the government.
  • Pray for Christians who try to travel to safe housed in China that the Lord’s hand of protection is on them.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will help North Korean refugees to heal from their trauma.
  • Pray that illegal Christian radio stations minister to believers.
  • Pray that believers experience God’s comfort.
  • Pray that believers know that they are not alone, that we are praying for them.

Again, we want to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord: 

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

What is Persecution Watch?

Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.

We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.


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