World Watch List 2016

North Korea


Main Source of Persecution: Communist Oppression

Impossible to worship Jesus

For the fourteenth year running, North Korea is at the top of the World Watch List. The Communist Dictator, Kim Jong Un, has maintained tight control of the country since 2011 and continues to persecute Christians. It is virtually impossible for believers to worship or share their faith and owning a bible is illegal.

Revival and War

Christianity first came to Korea in the 1700s, when Koreans in China converted and returned home. In 1907, the Great Pyongyang Revival began; hundreds of churches sprang up and many people were saved.

Japan took control of Korea in 1910 and the Church was increasingly persecuted. After the Japanese were defeated in World War II, Korea was divided into North and South. Kim Il Sung came to power in the North, imposing a communist regime. Tens of thousands of Christians were killed, imprisoned or banished to remote areas and the remaining church went underground.

Pressure against Christians at highest level

The church is almost entirely underground and most believers dare not share their faith with anyone, including family. Anyone discovered to be a Christian is punished, along with their families, for following a ‘dangerous foreign influence’. A large number of believers are imprisoned in North Korea’s penal labour camps.

Please Pray:

  • For the estimated 50,000-70,000 Christians imprisoned in labour camps; ask God to sustain them.
  • For the many Christians who don't have enough food to survive and are forced to flee.
  • That Christians may stand strong in their faith under extreme pressure.