During the 2018 International Day of Prayer this Sunday (Nov. 4), Open Doors is calling for 100,000 believers to stand with the underground church of North Korea.
Hea Woo watched her daughter die of starvation, her husband was killed for his faith and she herself was tortured for her faith in one of North Korea’s notorious prison camps.
Unfortunately, Hea Woo’s experience of being persecuted for following Jesus isn’t rare.
Every year, 215 million Christians face high levels of persecution in places hostile to Christianity. People like Hea Woo risk their lives and the lives of their families for their decision to follow Christ. Today, she allows God to use her story to motivate Christians throughout the world to pray for North Korea that has ranked #1 on the Open Doors World Watch List for 17 consecutive years indicating that it is the most difficult place in the world to be a Christian.
This year, Open Doors is standing with Hea Woo and the estimated 300,000 believers there for the annual International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) on Sunday, Nov. 4. Each year during IDOP, Christians throughout the free world band together in solidarity with believers who live out their faith in the face of harassment, attacks, false imprisonment, and even death.
We at Open Doors are convinced that now is the time for Christians to come together to pray for North Korea. That’s why for IDOP 2018, we’re praying for 100,000 Christians who will commit to standing in prayer with the estimated 300,000 believers in the underground church of North Korea.
As the Body of Christ, we are called to pray with each other and for each other. In his first letter to the church of Corinth, the apostle Paul reminds us: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; If one member is honored, all rejoice together” (I Corinthians 12:26).
Open Doors Founder and God’s Smuggler author Brother Andrew reminds us of the power of our prayers, saying:
“Our prayers can go where we cannot … there are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”
Both the difficult climate for Christians in North Korea and the rising global interest in this region have led Open Doors to call for Christians around the world to pray for North Korea. We believe that what is happening on the Korean peninsula illustrates that persecution is the issue of our time—and an issue on which those who follow Jesus cannot afford to be neutral.
Here are five ways to get involved in this year’s International Day of Prayer:
1. Sign up for our IDOP online global prayer gathering.
Join thousands of believers from the Open Doors community as we hear and learn from a North Korean believer. Pastor Min-Soo now serves North Korean refugees in South Korea. Open Doors CEO David Curry will interview him as he shares firsthand what it’s like to be a Christian in the isolated country. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your own prayers for our persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea and throughout the world. Join us on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 4 pm Pacific.
2. Download prayer points for North Korean believers.
You can pray specifically for the underground church of North Korea using these 10 Prayer Points. Download them here and share them.
3. Write and share your prayer on our Prayer Wall for North Korea.
You can read the prayers of hundreds of believers who are standing with North Korean Christian and also share your own prayer and picture to show you’re praying with this courageous underground church. Write your prayer here.
4. Read and watch powerful stories of North Korean believers.
In addition to the upcoming online gathering, you can also learn about North Korea from believers who have bravely shared their stories with us to help us understand the need for prayer for our brothers and sisters. Read and watch the stories of prison camp survivor Hea Woo; Nari, who was trafficked escaping from North Korea; and Seojun, who escaped to China and found refuge—and Jesus—in an Open Doors safe house. Meet them here.
5. Write a message to a secret believer in North Korea.
Sometimes a heartfelt encouragement that arrives on a tough day can literally be the touch of Jesus. Open Doors is currently organizing a radio ministry to broadcast your encouraging messages over the airwaves in North Korea. You can write a message that will be translated and read over the radio—a reminder to a believer that the world has not forgotten them.
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