More than two years after the start of the global pandemic, North Korea has officially declared its first cases of Covid-19 – though experts say the virus has long had a devastating effect in the country. It’s led to further restrictions which could further affect our North Korean family. But as a letter from a secret believer reveals, Christians continue to trust in Jesus. Please keep praying for believers in North Korea and those who serve them.
Restrictions have been enforced across North Korea to curb the spread of Covid-19
North Korea has officially declared its first cases of Covid-19, more than two years after the virus began its rapid spread across the world. The outbreak of the Omicron variant in Pyongyang was reported on 12 May and has led to Kim Jong-un enforcing strict lockdowns across the country.
But as is often the case with North Korea, what’s portrayed officially by the country is very different to the reality. Open Doors sources say that the current situation with Covid-19 is worse than is being reported, which echoes what a secret fieldworker shared in August 2020 about the ‘ghost disease’ that was rife in the country.
While the extent to which the country has been hit by Covid-19 is unclear, what is clearer is the impact it’s had on reaching believers with help. The restrictions faced by Open Doors fieldworkers have made it one of the hardest challenges the ministry has faced. But despite this, God has made ways for projects to continue, ensuring that our North Korean family have remained upheld by your support.
"We walk upon the way of a pilgrim that trusts and follows the Lord" Secret North Korean believer
However, with Kim Jong-Un reinforcing strict lockdowns throughout all regions of North Korea to prevent the spread of the virus, our work in the region – such as secret deliveries and the safe house ministry – may be affected. There is also the inevitable impact on the North Korean economy, with the exponential rise in prices for food and other necessities having a potentially devastating effect on people, including secret believers. Meanwhile, the government is clamping down on any suspicious activities, meetings, travel and unusual possessions.
Ultimately, it all presents another challenge to our North Korean family. But as always, they’re sticking close to Jesus, as shown in a secret letter we recently received from an underground church leader.
“Especially through the coronavirus pandemic and several great natural disasters that followed the virus, things seem to threaten us in every way,” the letter says. “Difficulties and hindrances lay hidden here and there, but because we know that the Lord allows us to unite together as one to share the faith and fellowship, we walk upon the way of a pilgrim that trusts and follows the Lord.”
Please join us in praying with the underground believers of North Korea, who are fixing their eyes on ‘the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast’ (1 Peter 5:10).
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.