North Korea

Rev. Han Chung-Ryeol, Chinese pastor of Korean descent shared his faith with 1,000+ North Koreans in Hermit Kingdom before his assassination [#ChinesePastor #NorthKorea #HermitKingdom]

A pastor on the China-North Korea border shared his faith with at least 1,000 North Koreans in the Hermit Kingdom before he was assassinated in 2016, a defector claims.

Rev. Han Chung-Ryeol, a Chinese pastor of Korean descent, who ministered on the border town of Changbai since the early 1990s, was reportedly on Pyongyang’s most-wanted list as early as 2003 for his faith-based charitable work.

Rev. Han Chung-Ryeol fed and sheltered thousands of North Koreans over the years — many of whom had fled the famine-stricken country in search of food and jobs.

One of them, Sang-chul, shared his story in a short documentary from The Voice of the Martyrs, as a way to encourage believers around the world to participate in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019.

Chinese pastor shared Christian faith with 1000 North Koreans before execution, defector claims
Fox News

Unknown Christian Martyr, Cha Deoksun Revealed by Newly Discovered North Korean Training Video – Prayers Needed for North Korea and its Christians [#ChristianMartyr #ChaDeoksun #PleasePray]

If not for a North Korean government training video, the testimony of Cha Deoksun’s life would never have been known. Produced to train state security agents how to identify and silence those who promote religion inside North Korea, the film denigrates anyone who practices religion. According to the film, Deoksun received Christ in China and then returned to North Korea to share her faith.

Incredibly, the propaganda film gives many details about the life of this courageous Christian. It states that during North Korea’s “Great Famine” in the mid-1990s, when an estimated 2.5 million people died, Deoksun was a strong revolutionary whose faith in the government had wavered. After visiting a woman in the northwest to ask for help, she illegally crossed the border into China in search of her uncle. But instead of finding her uncle, who had died, Deoksun found the Seotap Church, where she heard the gospel for the first time. The video says she became a “fanatical believer” who was inspired to return to North Korea and form an underground network of Christians inside the country.

When she returned to North Korea, Deoksun apparently turned herself in to authorities for crossing the border illegally. The video says that authorities were “lenient” and released her, but instead of praising the government she praised the Lord. Because of her poverty, the government did not restrict her movement within the country; she could travel freely between towns in North Korea to earn money for herself. As she traveled, she shared the gospel and gave money to the poor and those suffering. In addition, she discovered the descendants of several prominent Christians who gathered every Sunday to worship, pray, sing hymns and study God’s Word.

Though she was faithful, compassionate and generous, the video describes her as a “spy seeking to recruit other spies” — a description of evangelists commonly used in North Korean propaganda. Eventually, according to the video, “a good and awakened North Korean citizen” reported her to authorities.

It is unclear how Deoksun died, but it is possible that she was executed. Deoksun served the Lord without recognition, just as many North Korean Christians do today despite their government’s attempts to eradicate Christianity.

Newly discovered North Korea propaganda footage sheds light on how the Communist regime trains state security agents on how to identify and silence Christians in the Hermit Kingdom.

The video was obtained by The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a Christian nonprofit that supports persecuted believers all over the world.

The previously unseen film shows the story of Cha Deoksun, whose life otherwise might not have been known to the world, and her belief in a deity other than Kim Jong Un.

“This video illustrates very clearly why it is so important for Christians everywhere to pray for North Korea and for Christians there.”
– Todd Nettleton, host of VOM Radio and an author of the history of Christianity in North Korea

According to the video, Cha is described as a “spy,” a description of evangelists commonly used in North Korean propaganda.

Cha lost her faith in government during the Great Famine in the 1990s when she illegally crossed the border into China and found God at Seotap Church and then became a fanatical believer who was inspired to return to North Korea and form an underground church.

North Korea propaganda video details Christian martyr’s ‘mission from the enemy’ to build underground church:
Fox News

Christians in Japan recently take part in a state-sanctioned church service in North Korea amid tensions following Pyongyang’s multiple rounds of weapons tests [#NorthKorea #ChristiansInJapan #ChurchService]

Christian groups based in Japan recently took part in a state-sanctioned church service in North Korea amid tensions following Pyongyang’s multiple rounds of weapons tests.

According to Choson Sinbo, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper based in Japan, Japan-based organizations Korean Christian Church in Japan and the National Christian Council in Japan visited North Korea from July 27 to Aug. 1, 2019.

North Korea has consistently ranked as one of the most religiously repressive societies of the world. U.S. nonprofit Open Doors has said the regime ranks number one in the world for religious persecution, a statement Pyongyang has denied.

The delegates met with North Korean members of the Korean Christian Federation and engaged in “deep exchange.”

The church service took place at 10 a.m. July 28, 2019 at Pongsu Church in Pyongyang, with members of the 3 organizations in attendance. The church has previously received foreign visitors, including the Rev. Billy Graham.

According to the North Korean Protestant church’s pastor, Song Chol Min, the gathering signaled progress.

“We passionately welcome our brothers and sisters visiting Pyongyang who come here to worship on the Lord’s Day.”
– North Korean Protestant church’s pastor, Song Chol Min

Participants at the service prayed for peace and unification of the Korean Peninsula, sang hymns, delivered sermons and built new friendships.

According to Kim Jong-hyun, chairman of KCCJ, he “felt a familiarity” with the North Korean participants, who “prayed and used the Bible.”

Christians in North Korea hold worship service with Japanese visitors:
UPI.com

Christianity is virtually outlawed in North Korea, where dictator Kim Jong Un is the subject of a personality cult that treats him like a god.

The possession of Bibles, open religious services and any attempt to build underground church networks could mean torture, lengthy prison terms or execution.

Kim Jong-un
North Korean politician serving as Supreme Leader of North Korea since 2011.
Leader of the Workers’ Party of Korea since 2012.
Second child of Kim Jong-il and Ko Yong-hui.
Grandson of Kim Il-sung, the first leader of North Korea from 1948 to 1994.
First North Korean leader to have been born after the country’s founding.
Wikipedia

Witnesses tell AP about Christianity in North Korea:
ABC News