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North Korean refugee shares Christ’s love with fellow nationals

February 16, 2024 by Abigail Hart in Persecuted Christians in North Korea

“If you are known to be a Christian, then your life will be threatened all the time,” Song says, a North Korea refugee. “If you are caught, you, your parents and your children—three generations—will be arrested and executed or put in a political prison for life.” And that’s where Song found himself. He was arrested for leading others in prayer and placed in a hard labor camp.

Nothing could have prepared Song for the brutally harsh conditions of the camp. But his faith remained unshaken. “I lost about 50 pounds within three months during hard labor and almost died several times during the imprisonment,” he says. When asked how he was able to pull through, Song answers, “I realized that people around the world were remembering me and praying for me. And this is why I was able to survive.”

Miraculously, after two years, Song was released.

He continues to spend his life caring for and nurturing the persecuted church in North Korea. “Despite all the difficulty and my life being threatened, there are Christians in North Korea. We call them underground church members, and we do not know how many Christians are out there, but they are holding on to their faith.” Exact figures are impossible to determine, but conservative estimates are that there are between 300,000—400,000 Christians in North Korea … and the church is continuing to grow.

There is a thirst and hunger for Christ in North Korea. Christians are willing to risk their very lives to gather in small groups or even own a Bible.

Make a special gift today and aid us in reaching North Korean refugees. Help us spread Christ’s love to them, many for the very first time.

And God has shown time and time again that He has a plan for the North Korean people—that He will never abandon them. During the 1990s, a famine raged across the country, causing many North Koreans to flee to neighboring China. Song describes, “When North Koreans were in China, they found some Christians, and then they became Christians. Many of them were sent back, or some of them voluntarily wanted to go back, to North Korea to share the gospel with their family members and neighbors.”

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” The famine meant to kill, but God used it to expand His church. Prison was meant to silence Reverend Song, but it only grew his faith. God loves the North Korean people and He will never turn His back on His Church there.

Join us now in praying for Reverend Song’s ministry and the people of North Korea.

Lord, evil tried to silence Reverend Song, but now he is more determined than ever to grow Your Church. Bless him, a North Korean refugee, with safety and security. Hold him close as he ministers to those thirsting for Your love and mercy.

Across North Korea, continue to spread Your Word. Let it fall on ears desperate for You. Do miracles and impact lives. May many fall on their knees in reverence and worship of You. Amen.

*Name changed to preserve security

About the author
Tim Dustin is a journalist for Global Christian Relief, where he strives to give a voice to persecuted Christians out of North Korea and the rest of the world. Get the latest blogs and prayer requests at

Those who escape North Korea often do so with only the clothes on their backs. They’re facing a completely unknown future in a foreign land. But you can help. By making a contribution today, you can help us meet these defectors with the love of Jesus in the form of food kits, emergency aid, trauma care, discipleship materials—whatever it takes.

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