April 15: A Day of Fasting and Prayer for North Korea
Believers around the world are setting aside this Sunday, April 15, as a day of prayer and fasting for the country of North Korea and the believers who live there. The situation in North Korea is increasingly problematic with the country facing its worst food shortage in a decade. (Millions are at risk and according to UNICEF, 80% of North Korean children are malnourished.)
For believers, the difficulty is compounded since North Korea is still the most hostile place in the world to be a Christian. Open Doors USA shared the following:
On April 15 all of North Korea will celebrate the “Day of the Sun” in honor of Kim Il-Sung’s 100th birthday. To the outside world, the picture will be one of prosperity and wealth; that North Korea is a great place to live under their caring leaders. But outside of the media’s eye the vast majority will continue to quietly suffer extreme poverty and starvation.
For Christians, as the birthday celebration draws near, their fear has increased as their actions are watched closer than before. They know that outwardly they must participate in the nationwide celebrations to avoid arrest …but in their hearts they will be celebrating the true “Son” Jesus Christ.
North Korea is the most hostile country in the world to live and practice the Christian faith. Estimates report that 25 percent of the Christian population is suffering in labor camps for their refusal to worship founder Kim Il-Sung’s cult religion called Juche. Enormous statues of the “Great Leader” are prominently displayed throughout the country. Kim Il-Sung is exalted and revered as a god to be followed with obedience. Citizens are required to bow down to pay their respects, wear a lapel pin with his image on it and prominently display photos of both Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il (both deceased).
As North Korea celebrates the “Day of the Sun” let us unite our efforts by drawing on the power of the Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Show your solidarity on April 15 by praying for believers in North Korea and taking a day off of food – or perhaps one meal – to remember the suffering of the North Korean people.
Prayer isn’t passive, it’s active. It’s really doing something. Prayer isn’t the least we can do, it’s the most. We pray now in faith, believing our prayers are making an eternal difference; we anticipate Heaven, where we’ll learn God’s breath-taking answers to our prayers, including many that seemed unheard and ignored.
To register to receive information on how to pray for North Korea, sign up at the Open Doors website. (On April 15 they will be posting hourly updates from their Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep you engaged in prayer.)