Today members of the US Senate proposed a bill that would eventually lead to provisions for many illegal immigrants to be granted citizenship. President Obama will supposedly follow suit with his own plan tomorrow. While immigration has been a hot topic on Capitol Hill for the last 10 years, North Korean refugees have lived in constant fear with no hope for any reform. Though China signed the UN Refugee Convention in 1951, they have not fully abided by it.
A cornerstone to this Convention is the concept of non-refoulement, which guarantees that the host country will not send a refugee back to their home country. China has been forcibly repatriating North Korean refugees since the late ‘90s.
This has lead to devastating consequences for North Korean refugees seeking food and freedom in China. We minister to children who have witnessed their mothers being hauled away by the police. We cry with the women who have been sold to abusive husbands and treated like livestock by their families. We hid in a closet with a half-North Korean, half-Chinese child because the police were actively searching for North Korean refugees in 2006. We held the hands of North Korean refugees as they traversed rough terrain on the Asian Underground Railroad in search for freedom.
The reason Crossing Borders exists is to help North Korean refugees who are in fear of forced repatriation. If China was abiding by the 1951 Convention, there would be little need for our help. But this is what the church is built for, to provide justice for those who cannot attain it for themselves.
Please pray this week for this dark situation and the people trapped in it. And please continue to pray for Crossing Borders and groups like us that we may continue to provide shelter for those in need.