Very few American Christians care about them that I know of. I go to church every Sunday, and I am exposed to different churches for various reasons. I have never heard them mentioned or prayed for in one church service that I can recall. I seldom if ever remember a fellow Christian bringing them up in a conversation. They are just not a part of the American evangelical sphere of concern, except for ministries that specifically deal with persecuted Christians.
It is not because information regarding them is not available. Recently I received a publication from The Voice of the Martyrs (June 2014 periodical) that features their plight. They and other organizations seeking to make people aware of Christian persecution have worked hard to disseminate information regarding the unspeakably horrible treatment of our North Korean brothers and sisters in Christ.
And they have succeeded somewhat. Note that I did not state above that we do not know about this situation, but rather that it is not part of our sphere of concern. I believe that if 1000 American evangelicals were surveyed with the question, “Are a number of North Korean Christians imprisoned for their faith?” Most would answer in the affirmative. The problem is not so much knowing as caring.
Though that might seem to be a harsh and judgmental accusation, when 30,000 brothers and sisters live in conditions of unspeakable cruelty, and we seldom if ever mention or pray for them in our services, how can the American evangelical church possibly claim to care?
What should be our response? I believe they should be remembered virtually every Sunday in our worship services, and not just a brief mention in a prayer. I am convinced the Lord would have to spend five or ten minutes pouring out our hearts to Him on their behalf. I think it would also be appropriate to have special prayer meetings specifically to intercede for them.
I believe that such prayer efforts would result in the Lord prompting us to ask what we might do on their behalf. I am convinced that there are things that we could do. Imagine if the church in America made a united effort on their behalf. Suppose this resulted in a million American Christians doing a sit-in around the United Nations until something was done. Perhaps this effort could be paralleled with a similar demonstration around the Capital Building and White House.
The article in the Voice of the Martyrs periodical provided some details that might elevate our incentive to pray and take action for these dear people. Let me provide a summary.
When the North Korean government suspects anyone of any involvement whatever with Christianity they imprison not only the individual but three generations of their family. Therefore if a North Korean listens to a Christian radio program, possesses a Bible of other Christian literature, or even makes a comment that might be interpreted as being Christian, he jeopardizes his own well-being and that of his entire family.
North Korea has two types of prison facilities. They send Christians to the worst of the two. Most will die there. Some are executed immediately. 40% starved to death. Many are permanently disfigured from torture and from being chained to walls for days or weeks at a time.
The drawings below may look like cartoons, but they are not. They are drawings made by a North Korean who escaped one of these prisons showing some of the types of torture that are inflicted. As you look at these drawings, consider that many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are no doubt undergoing such treatment at this very moment. (Click on the drawings to enlarge them,)
Please pray for these fellow-Christians. Please urge your church to make them a matter of prayer. Please ask the Lord what He might have you to do to provide relief for them.
Please ask yourself these two questions: First: “If I were in their place, what would I hope that American Christians would do for me?” Second: “Are we doing those things for them?” Our churches don’t teach too much anymore on the Golden Rule. Guess that’s why we don’t follow it.