by Tony Perkins
Kim Dae Jin recalls the day when, as a prisoner in a North Korean labor camp, an informant betrayed a small group of prisoners who were Christian, which to be was forbidden.
“I watched as they (prison officials) grabbed hold of my friend’s arm so tightly that it died and had to be amputated,” he said. “After that, he and the other Christians were sent to an even stricter camp. You do not get out of a camp like that alive.”
Sadly, Kim’s tale is all too common in North Korea’s brutal regime. In its newly released annual report on Christian persecution, Open Doors notes that up to 70,000 Christians are being held in horrific conditions in the North Korean prison “gulag.” In them, everyone, from small children to the elderly, is subject to sub-human treatment, often for simply believing in Jesus.
One of the great tragedies of our time is that the situation in North Korea is by no means unique. Open Doors “works in the world’s most oppressive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these dark places.” Such places are far too common in the 21st Century.
In its annual “World Watch List,” Open Doors lists no less than 27 countries where persecution of Christians can be considered “extreme or severe.” These include such “mainstream” nations as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as well as long-time religious liberty violators like Iran and Somalia.
Ministries like Open Doors, Voice of the Martyrs, China Aid and Christian Solidarity Worldwide do brave and vital work in helping persecuted believers, reminding us in free countries of the pain they face, and motivating international action on their behalf. Family Research Council (FRC) has worked and will continue to work with these organizations to educate and equip Christians in America to stand with the persecuted church and advocate on their behalf.
Our persecuted brothers and sisters should continually be in our prayers. But praying is not enough. We need to be financially supporting these vital ministries that are helping persecuted and imprisoned Christians around the globe. We must also call upon our governmental leaders to advocate for those who are being persecuted for their faith.
SOURCE: Christian Post
Tony Perkins is president and Rob Schwarzwalder is senior vice president of the Family Research Council