A Life of Hard Labour: A Pastor’s Sentence

A life of hard labour: A pastor’s sentence

Lim Hyeun-soo, a Korean-Canadian pastor from Toronto, has been sentenced to a life of hard labour for numerous charges – including attempting to overthrow the government and establish a religious state in North Korea.

“Pastors like Lim, who have seen so much of how North Korea treats its prisoners, cannot easily be released,” said an Open Doors field worker. “I don’t see Lim returning home anytime soon.”

Pastor Lim, aged 60, has travelled to North Korea over 100 times to do humanitarian work. Though he was not involved in the country’s underground churches, the harsh sentencing has come after several of months of crackdowns on Christians by the North Korean regime.

“A case like this does outrage the North Korean government,” says the Open Doors field worker. “North Korean believers could be dealt with even more harshly if they are exposed.”

Please Pray:

  • For Pastor Lim and his family, that they will be strengthened and comforted by God, and that Pastor Lim may be freed
  • For tens of thousands of Christians incarcerated in North Korean camps and for the underground church, that they will feel God’s protection and that they will shine like lights to those who do not know Christ
  • That Kim Jong-Un and the North Korean regime will come to know God’s love and power.

Conditions in the camps

Sources in North Korea have confirmed that, in the recent crackdowns, Christians have been murdered and others have been incarcerated in prisons and labour camps. In both detention facilities, people are starved, tortured and the death rate is extremely high.

“I was locked up for years,” said a North Korean refugee. “I will never forget the prisoners who were too weak to continue their work. The guards would pick them up and put them on an automatic belt that threw them in a large oven while the prisoners were still alive.”

Christianity in North Korea

Christianity is seen as a threat to the North Korean regime: they believe Christians spy for the enemy, meet in secret and, at most, only give lip service to the North Korean government. Such disloyalty deserves severe punishment.

Despite this tragic arrest and others, the church has survived almost 70 years of severe persecution. Between 200,000 and 400,000 Christians still secretly profess their faith.

If you receive the Open Doors Magazine, please look out for some inspiring letters written by North Korean pastors in the next mailing.

For more information about Open Doors and the many Christians who are being persecuted in many countries throughout the world please go to:-

http://www.opendoorsuk.org

Please join me  in praying that our Father God blesses mightily all the Christians who are being persecuted for their faith in Him and to give them the strength to endure all the atrocities perpetrated against them.

In Jesus name

Amen

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The Step of Yes

North Korea remains the most brutal and dangerous place on earth to be a Christian. And yet, there are thousands of courageous North Koreans who risk everything, even their lives, to follow Jesus and shine the light of his love to those around them, like the unknown believer who cared for Chun*.

When Chun tried to escape from North Korea, she was arrested and imprisoned. It was like hell on earth. “I was beaten and tortured so badly that I could barely stand up. The prison cell was dirty, small and overcrowded. There were so many women that I could not lie down.”

But even in the darkness of Chun’s prison cell, the love of God shone through. Chun says: “There was one lady who was really kind to me. When I was in so much pain she invited me to lay my head in her lap. She prayed for me. It was my first encounter with the love of Christ.”

If courageous brothers and sisters like her are to continue to bring hope to the most hopeless places, they need our ongoing support. Will you say ‘yes’ to walking with our persecuted church family by committing to give and pray regularly for them?

A gift of £20 a month can provide small amounts of food, medicine and relief to help up to 50 impoverished secret believers in North Korea to survive.

To help you reflect on what it means to say ‘yes’ to God, no matter what the risks are, we would like to send you our daily devotional guide, ‘The Step of Yes’. It’s perfect for Lent with six weeks of daily reflections, and you can order a FREE copy, or sign up to daily emails throughout Lent.

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I have supported the Persecuted Church for some time now.

If you do not already support the work of Open Doors, may I humbly suggest that you do too?

God bless

Geoffrey

Open Doors – Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide

In North Korea it is an unforgiveable crime to be a Christian.

Hye’s mother and father would open up their house to friends on Saturday nights. Five or six would gather to read from the Bible and sings songs silently. Hye would stand on guard outside, so she could run in and warn them if anyone was coming near the home.

One day, the security forces raided the house during a worship meeting. Hye’s father was arrested and taken away. Hye never saw him again.

Two weeks later, her grandmother passed away. Before she died, she told Hye’s mother to fetch her Bible. “We knew they were coming for us,” Hye remembers, “we had to burn it. My grandmother said it was okay, as long as we stayed true to our faith in God. But when the flames devoured the pages, my grandmother wept intensely.”

Hye’s family were deported to a remote Mountainous area, where they live a hand-to-mouth existence for 10 years. Then, one day, a Chinese pastor, who had managed to find out where they had been sent to, came and offered Hye a chance to defect to China. Her mother convinced her to go, and eventually Hye managed to make her way across the barbed wire, electrified fences and military patrols of the border to cross the river into China.

The pastor and his wife were waiting for her. One of the first things they did was to take Hye to church. As soon as she set foot inside, she burst into tears. “I couldn’t stop thinking about my father and grandmother. They would have longed for this service.”

In prayer, you can take time to reflect on this terrifying walk of faith.

Our Christian brothers and sisters draw strength and encouragement knowing that they have not been forgotten by the family of God. I ask you, from the very bottom of my heart, that you include all persecuted Christians, wherever in the world they may live, in your prayers.

It may surprise you to know that there are at least 50 countries where it is very difficult to be seen publicly to be a Christian.

In many of these countries Jesus means being marginalised and stigmatised, or even facing hostility, violence and death.

Christians are the most persecuted religious minority in the world.

It’s time to pray for the persecuted church, to speak up on their behalf and to support those in greatest need.

For more information about persecuted Christians worldwide please go to:-

http://www.opendoorsuk.org/

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Please share this message on all your Facebook Groups and blogs. Let us not remain complacent when so many of our fellow Christians are suffering the extreme penalty for their faith!

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey