By Open Doors 26 March 2024 4 MIN

Pray for South Korean Pastor Arrested in Russia

Russian authorities have arrested South Korean pastor, Baek Kwang-Soon, in Vladivostok on espionage charges,  Russian press agency TASS reported.

Global Love Rice Sharing Foundation, Baek’s employer, states that the pastor was engaged in helping North Korean escapees, local Thai workers, and Russians struggling to make ends meet. Pastor Baek was involved in aiding North Korean loggers and construction workers who required medical attention and sought support living in the province of Primorsky of Russia.

In January 2024, Mr and Mrs Baek headed to Vladivostok from Hunchun, China. Upon their arrival, the couple was apprehended, though Mrs Baek was released after being cleared of suspicion. Prior to returning to South Korea, she sought assistance from the Korean Consulate General in Vladivostok. For two months, the incident remained undisclosed to the public, undergoing discreet processing. The revelation of Baek’s capture under suspicion of espionage came suddenly when the Russian press agency, TASS, made the issue public.  

Global Love Rice Sharing denies the pastor was engaged in spying activities. If convicted, Baek could face up to twenty years in prison.   

Russian Government Prohibits Missionary Activities

Since Russia was sanctioned by the international community for the war in Ukraine, the bond between North Korea and Russia has strengthened. North Korea actively supports Putin’s war effort and sends workers to the Russian area around Vladivostok, which is close to the North Korean border. 

Pastor Baek’s arrest marks the beginning of a comprehensive crackdown by the Russian government on all missionary activities aimed at aiding North Koreans in Russia. Not only are South Korean missionaries prohibited, but any efforts or assistance from Russian church believers toward North Korean citizens are forbidden. Our ministry for North Koreans in Russia is currently facing significant threats and pressure.  

Pray for the Ministry to North Korean Christians:

  • Please pray for Baek Kwang-Soon, that God will give him the right words to say, supernatural power to deal with the circumstances, and for his freedom. Pray for his family, his co-workers, and the people he used to support. Pray that God will turn evil into good. 
  • Pray for Open Doors’ ministry to North Koreans, that we can find a way to continue teaching and strengthening North Korean secret churches in Russia.  
  • Pray for the protection of the Open Doors field workers, partners, and co-workers involved in the missions. 

Stay updated with the latest prayer requests from the persecuted church.

The most persecuted Christians

World Watch List 2024

Where are the most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian? Explore the full World Watch List now.

Explore the List