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Defector discovers 70,000 persecuted Christians in North Korea are imprisoned

January 26, 2024 by Abigail Hart in Persecuted Christians in North Korea

Have you ever wondered what life is like inside secretive North Korea? Eun-Young—a brave North Korean defector—provides a brief glimpse in the video above. In her youth, Eun-Young had never heard of God. So as a teenager, she began to focus on worldly things. Her main objective involved making money in hopes of achieving a certain level of status and acceptance in North Korea.  

She remembers the nation’s cult-like worship of leader Kim Jong Un—and the hard labor camps that awaited anyone acting in defiance of the government’s strict rules. But around the age of 13 when she fled her homeland, she was largely unaware of the vast number of persecuted Christians in North Korea, because expressing interest in religion is enough for someone to possibly be detained, imprisoned, tortured or killed; the government views Christians as a hostility and attempts to eliminate God completely. As such, many North Koreans lack knowledge and understanding regarding the Christian faith and the underground church.

After her risky escape, Eun-Young was led to Christ by a South Korean pastor. She wept upon learning that she had a loving Father in Heaven guiding her to freedom! Now, when she reflects on her previous life in North Korea, a Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 1:2 comes to mind: Everything is meaningless. She explains, “Back then I was only thinking about money. Now, I see those things and materials as meaningless … God has changed my perspective.” 

Today, Eun-Young has found true meaning and purpose in her walk with Christ. She is filled with the fruits of the Spirit and ministers to other North Korean refugees who are just discovering the love of God for the very first time.  

She longs to carry the gospel back to her homeland to reach millions of others who remain in the dark. And now that she has learned about their plight, she holds in fervent prayer the estimated 70,000 North Korean believers who are imprisoned for their faith—many of whom may be trapped in the country’s hard labor camps.

Please pray with us now as we lift up Eun-Young and North Korea’s imprisoned Christians before the Lord

God, we are so grateful that You emboldened Eun-Young to flee an oppressive nation to discover the truth of Jesus Christ in her new home of South Korea. Lord, continue to grow her faith, that she might minister to countless others like herself—defectors and refugees who haven’t had an opportunity to know You yet. 

Lord, while we rejoice with Eun-Young over her newfound faith and freedom, our hearts ache for the 70,000 persecuted Christians in North Korea who are still suffering because they follow Jesus. Comfort them as they remain in prison or hard labor camps and remind them that You promise to always be with them. Strengthen them to run their race with endurance and may the gospel flourish in these hard places. Amen.

About the author
Abigail Hart is a director of communications at Global Christian Relief. She aims to shine a spotlight on little known stories of Christian persecution around the world. View the latest persecution stories and videos at

When you make a gift to Global Christian Relief, you could help defectors just like Eun-Young find healing and truth in God’s Word. Your contribution today could provide Bibles, discipleship, trauma counseling, food relief, safe housing, medical care and more. Please give now to show North Korean refugees that the Church is ready to receive them with open arms.  

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