Hotspot:  North Korea

Threats and Challenges

Amnesty International reports severe restrictions in North Korea on freedom of association, expression and movement, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment resulting in death, and executions. North Korean Christians are often deported to labor camps without trial, with little chance of being released.

"Hundreds of thousands of Christians have died because of persecution, and today up to 100,000 are in prisons or work camps." Operation World 2010

North Korea has the largest military establishment in the world, with about 9.5 million active and reserve military personnel. It has nuclear and chemical weapons capability, and has a history of belligerence.

Someday the walls will fall, the walls that separate North Koreans from the rest of the world. This will be a delicate time, a time when great chaos could occur. Turmoil would likely spread to South Korea and possibly China. Christians need to pray for an orderly, safe transition period.

Opportunities – the Lord can use this

Once North Koreans have been set free from their current regime many will be confused and disillusioned. This will provide a good window of opportunity for the Gospel to be made available to these people.

The large South Korean Church is positioned to be a great blessing to Koreans in the North. They may be able to find ways to get the Gospel message into North Korea, and after the walls come down they should be able serve those in the North in strategic ways. These will be opportunities for the South Korean Church to represent Christ well.

The global Church has responsibility and opportunity to be persistent in prayer for the suffering peoples of North Korea. We should willingly step up to this important task.

North Korea was once home to a thriving Christian presence, and Pyongyang was known as the Jerusalem of the East. The Lord no doubt heard the prayers of those Christians for their homeland and for their children. Perhaps he will answer those prayers in our day. This will bring him honor.

Prayer Suggestions

* Pray for the unknown number of Christians in North Korea, especially for those in labor camps, and for their families. Pray for their health and protection, and for God's provision. Pray they will experience much of the Lord's peace.
* Thank the Lord for recent steps taken by the government which are resulting in somewhat increased freedoms for farmers and businessmen.
* Pray that Christians in the land will be able to fellowship together safely, and will find scripture and other resources online and via radio. Pray especially for pastors.
* Pray for those in authority in North Korea, as we are instructed, "…prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all those in authority". I Timothy 2:1-2
* Pray for a change of heart for the North Korean government, that they will set their own people free from harsh restraints, exploitation, and brutalization. Pray they will seek peace with neighboring countries.
* Pray for adequate supplies of food and medical supplies in North Korea.
* Pray for the Gospel message to become increasingly available throughout North Korea, that the government will lose the desire to prevent the flow of the Gospel.


"All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God." Psalm 86: 9-10

People Groups Impacted


Prayer Cards (PDF)

Main Countries Impacted

Korea, North

Korea, South

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