North Korea is known notoriously for their strict regulations and limitations that they place on their citizens. In North Korea, Christians face some of the toughest persecution in the world. But that does not stop them from worshipping, or people from trying to evangelize.
In fact, Chinese missionaries congregate along the Chinese border every day hoping for a chance to share the gospel with someone. Regardless of the death that they might face, they continue to line the border each day in hopes of sharing the love of God with someone.
Rev. Kim Kyou Ho, head of the Chosen People Network in South Korea, stated that 10 border missionaries have died mysteriously over the past couple of years. He believes North Korea to be at fault for every single one of those deaths. They also face opposition on the Chinese side, as hundreds of missionaries have been imprisoned by the government.
One mysterious death was that of Li Baiguang. He was a Chinese human rights lawyer who dedicated his life to defending Christian pastors and farmers. He had received many death threats before he died in a Chinese military hospital of what his family called a minor stomach ailment.
Despite the overarching threats the missionaries face, they stay steadfast in their determination to bring souls to Christ. One women in particular has lead a movement from her apartment for the past twenty years.
The 69-year-old Korean-Chinese women is called “mom,” and she takes care of those that escape North Korea. She provides meals, gives them a place to sleep, and even sometimes offers money.
In return, she asks for the North Koreans to sign hymns and study the Bible. She holds a dangerous and ambitious goal of sending them back to North Korea to tell others about the gospel there.
When asked about fear, the women told the Associated Press, “I always pray and I’m with God, so I’m not worried.”
North Korea claims that it provides freedom of religion to its 24 million citizens, but this is the opposite of truth. Anyone who is found related to Bible distribution, in underground churches, or prayer groups is either imprisoned or sometimes executed.
Kim Jong Un views Christianity as a threat, and works hard to get rid of it completely. In North Korea, Un is viewed as a God, which means Christianity could cause his citizens to challenge that.
Tom Belke, an author, argues that Christianity is the most threatening force to the North Korean regime. He says, “The Bible and the Christian Gospel is the most destabilizing thing to the North Korean regime. The Bible teaches that there is a supreme, sovereign God over all men, including the dictator. This Good News cannot be tolerated in North Korea because it undermines the authority of the dictator.”
The border missionaries realize how much of a necessity spreading teh gospel to North Korea is. It will not only have a large impact on the citizens, but would threaten to destabilize the government as well. They work hard to spread the gospel even if it means tying scripture to balloons and letting them loose in the direction of North Korea.
“By sending these balloons, we let our North Korean brothers and sisters know that we are praying for them and the scriptures on the balloons are meant to encourage them,” a believer told CBN News.
It could take years, or decades to see liberation in North Korea, but that only motivates the border missionaries to work harder. They don’t know if they will ever see the fruit of their mission, but they continue to work each day in hopes that their neighbors will be able to worship God in the open one day.