Radical Faith In A North Korean Prison Camp

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By Beth Ross | 16 August 2017

This is Hea Woo’s story of radical faith in North Korea. Scroll down to watch her full story.

Hea Woo grew up in North Korea, in the midst of the great famine of 1997. Her daughter was only in her mid-twenties when she starved to death in their home.

Hea Woo’s husband escaped to China, there he found God. But he was found and arrested by the North Korean secret police, and six months later he died in a North Korean prison camp.

Hea Woo was shocked to hear her husband had become a Christian. But she knew he had found the truth, and it wasn’t long before she also escaped to China and, through a series of events, gave her life to Jesus. 

But the secret police found Hea Woo and took her back to her homeland, where she was put in a prison camp. Those days were dark. Hea Woo would see exhausted workers fall to the ground, their lifeless bodies would lay there for three or four days. She carries stories of mental and physical abuse that would make anyone sick to their stomach.

But in that place Hea Woo chose to do something radical. Something dangerous, but so Christ-like.

In the middle of the prison God gave her a heart to tell her fellow prisoners about Jesus. So right there, in the middle of a North Korean labour camp, a secret fellowship–a secret church–began. 

Hea Woo saw people come to know God. She had a church in a place so putrid that no one dared to go near them: inside a prison, where if you were caught you would be tortured and killed without exception.

This is Hea Woo’s story.

Hea Woo in North Korea

Hae Woo spent a few years in prison camp, where God used her to lead five people to faith in Jesus. 

She said, "All six of us survived the camp, because we took care of one another.”

After being released from prison she managed to escape to South Korea, where she still lives today.

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North Korea is the hardest place in the world to follow Jesus

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