North Korean

Prayer for the North Korean People: Typhoon Bolaven

Please pray for the North Korean people and North Korean refugees today. East Asia, especially the Korean Peninsula, currently braces for what appears to be a strong weather system. Typhoon Bolaven is set to hit the west coast of the Korean Peninsula today. From here, the typoon will barrel up the west coast into Northeast China. This is an area where many North Korean refugees are in hiding.

The North Korean people have already suffered from floods this year, which resulted in the death of an estimated 170 citizens, according reports from the The Guardian. The Guardian also reported 400 citizens missing, approximately 84,000 of the North Korean people rendered homeless due to the flooding earlier this summer. The arrival of Bolaven will no doubt make things worse and do further damage to the Hwanhae Province, where it will make landfall.

In North Korea is already a flood-soaked land with an infrastructure that cannot handle a large-scale natural disaster. This weather event has the potential to be catastrophic for its people. Let's pray that God would have mercy on the North Korean people as they brace themselves for Typhoon Bolaven.


*This is footage from earlier this year showing the flooding that has already occurred in North Korea.

Prayer for North Korean Refugees: Imprisonment

The topic of imprisonment comes up a lot in our work with North Korean refugees. One refugee woman we helped reported to us that she was imprisoned in a gulag in North Korea for illegally trading in minerals with Chinese businessmen because her family didn’t have enough to eat. She subsisted on 24 kernels of corn each day in prison. When they let her out she immediately fled to China. Through God's grace in circumstances, she was later placed under our care.

Another North Korean refugee escaped her abusive husband and family after she was sold to them in the mid-2000s. Her husband’s family beat her for not knowing how to speak Mandarin. They beat her if she didn’t cook Chinese food right. She was raped repeatedly by her husband and her husband’s teenage son. Upon escape, she was also taken in by Crossing Borders.

Many refugees found daily life in North Korea stifling. They were always being watched, monitored by their neighbors, family members and even their own children (children are taught at school to report their parents if they speak ill of the regime). North Koreans are denied freedom of thought, movement and speech.

The North Korean refugees we’ve spoken with in South Korea have more money than they have ever seen in their whole lives. The government helps them with housing, education and job training. And yet there is a profound emptiness in the North Korean refugee community in South Korea. Some report discrimination. Some say they are depressed from the trauma of what they have endured in China and North Korea. Other North Korean refugees say they just miss their families in North Korea. Whatever it is, they too are in a prison of grief and distress.

There is an even greater imprisonment that all North Koreans feel whether they are in a gulag in North Korea, whether they are in China and afraid of being captures, or whether they are free in South Korea. We believe this is a spiritual imprisonment. They in bondage to sin and it is our job as believers to pray for their spiritual freedom in Christ.

As we pray this week, let us remember the prison that North Koreans all over the world are trapped in. Let's pray for light to overtake the darkness.

Prayer for North Korean Refugees: A Time of Danger

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.