For 16 years, North Korea has been ranked the “most oppressive place in the world for Christians,” and in August the U.S. State Department re-asserted it as one of the world’s worst religious persecutors – torturing and executing those even suspected of worshipping God.
Reports however reveal this hasn’t stopped an estimated 36 percent of the population – around 9 million – from practicing Christianity.
Vernon Brewer, President of World Help, knows that well. He spoke to journalists in a report published Monday by CBN News, revealing how he spends his days smuggling Bibles into the hermit kingdom.
He stated that possessing a Bible could get a Korean 15 years of hard labor in a prison camp, or worse.
“If they get caught with a Bible, it’s a death sentence. Yet they are willing to risk their lives every day to get God’s word into the hands of a North Korea Christian, that has never even held a Bible. Let alone owned one. That’s how precious it is to them. It is really good news,” Brewer said.
Brewer told CBN News about 70,000 Christians wither away in brutal prison camps because they were caught practicing their faith.
“Much of the work we do to share the gospel, it’s very secret. But I can tell you this: we are distributing Bibles because that is the greatest need. We have a goal to distribute 100-thousand Bibles as soon as possible,” Brewer said.
According to Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern who spoke to Fox News recently, Christians in North Koreans are accused of being imperialists seeking to overthrow the government.
On the surface, Christianity does exist in North Korea, and its constitution on paper vows to protect religious freedom and forbids discrimination based on one’s faith.
Thus, the capital, Pyongyang, is currently host to five state-controlled churches –however, all are deemed to be little more than fraudulent showpieces for visiting officials and tourists.
World Center for North Korea Missions, said Children are taught from an early age that there is no God and have no concept of any religion.
“Instead of the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, people are taught a different trinity that includes Kim Il Sung, his mother Kim Jung Sook and his son Kim Jong Il,”
North Korean defector Hwang Jang Yop, a former confidant of Kim Il Sung, told World Center for North Korea Missions, “If someone really wanted to attend church, or declared allegiance to it, he would be shot within five minutes.”
Vernon Brewer said they’re smuggling computers that include a Bible college curriculum for training church planters and future pastors. He urged their efforts are changing lives.
God’s Plan for North Korea
Brewer told CBN News, “This is all on God’s agenda. This is all part of God’s plan and this is on God’s time, to see North Korea come to Jesus Christ.”
Which is why Brewer and his team remain committed and will continue to pray for change in North Korea.