This week we ask for your prayers regarding the safety of North Korean refugees in China and the missionaries and field workers who care for them. Every so often China uses anniversaries and celebrations to make sweeps of border towns and round up North Koreans to strike fear in the refugee population and the people who help them. In show of force, Chinese authorities are sweeping the streets in the Yanbian Autonomous Prefecture in celebration of its 60th year of existence on September 3 of this year. This is one region where many North Korean refugees hide and where many aid workers are operate secretly.
In February we reported on our Twitter feed that 26 North Korean refugees were captured by the Chinese police, many of whom were sent back to North Korea’s brutal system of political concentration camps.
Today is also the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest and massacre. China is on high alert. A strange coincidence happened today as the Shanghai stock market index fell 64.89 points. That’s 6-4-89, the date of the massacre. This has created a cultural phenomenon in China in remembrance of the massacre. China has already blocked web searches for “Shanghai Stock Market,” according to reports by the Los Angeles Times.
Our eyes on the ground reported that Chinese policemen are patrolling the streets in greater numbers, two-by-two on every street in the Yanbian province.
The 26 refugees caught last year and the missionary who was shot, possibly killed, recently are tactics by the Chinese and North Korean authorities to terrorize the tens-of-thousands of North Korean refugees who are hiding and deter those who risk their lives to support them.
Please continue to pray for the safety of our staff workers and especially the North Korean refugees in our care.