International Prayer Initiative for the Liberation of North Korea
This September 19-21, several hundred local church leaders, supported by 50 international prayer leaders and intercessors, will gather in Seoul for a special prayer initiative—PINK (Prayer Initiative for North Korea). Goals as mapped out by the Korean organizers are: 1) To see real breakthroughs in the critical issues on North Korea; 2) As one of the stepping stones for the World Prayer Assembly—to connect various prayer networks before WPA and to receive strategies on global prayer issues; 3) To build up ongoing national and regional prayer networks in East Asia. If you are in prayer ministry and are interested to participate, please let our office know.
Robert Park, a Christian human rights activist who was imprisoned for three months last year by the Pyongyang regime, has repeatedly called for concerted prayer and action for the liberation of North Korea. In his April 20, 2011 article in the Washington Post, Park calls on the international community to stop the “genocide” that has been occurring in North Korea. This is also a call to prayer for God’s deliverance since Scripture encourages us to intercede for His transformation of nations. As one theologian has affirmed, “history belongs to the intercessors” (Walter Wink). Let us fervently pray with faith-filled expectation during these months leading up to September’s initiative, trusting the Lord to bring real change inside this deeply oppressed nation.
Here are a few excerpts from Park’s provocative article that should move our hearts to care and intercede:
“Holocaust” is the word used to describe the systematic extermination of millions of innocent European Jews during World War II. In the aftermath of this mammoth failure of humanity, many nations “repented” and declared that “never again” would such inhumanity and absolute disregard for human dignity and life be tolerated.
Yet on Jan. 1, the regime of Kim Jong Il warned that a “nuclear holocaust” would be inevitable if South Korea engaged the North in war. While the world watches peoples in the Middle East and North Africa rise up against tyranny, another people suffers on the Korean Peninsula. And that Pyongyang so irreverently invoked this term to describe its so-called necessary defense is a stark reminder of the genocidal and inhumane nature of Kim Jong Il’s regime and the atrocities it has committed against millions of innocents.
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, called on the international community in 2004 to investigate “political genocide” in North Korea. In response to reports of “North Korea’s use of gas chambers to murder and perform medical experiments on political dissidents and their families” and the “chilling image of the murderers coolly watching their victims’ death agonies...all too reminiscent of Nazi barbarism,” the group’s chairman, Avner Shalev, wrote to then-U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan that “the issue is all the more severe due to North Korea’s status as a member of the U.N.”
“An estimated 1 million innocent men, women and children have been murdered in North Korean political concentration camps since 1972, academics believe. Virtually nothing has been done to speed the closure of these camps since 2004, though the testimony of tens of thousands of refugees provides mounting evidence of crimes against humanity and genocide.
Outside observers and nongovernmental organizations estimate that 3.5 million North Koreans died of starvation between 1995 and 1997. They continue to die in huge numbers in a government-organized famine akin to the Holodomor famine-genocide in Ukraine (1932-33), which was orchestrated by Joseph Stalin. Billions in humanitarian aid have been shipped to North Korea, more than enough to feed the nation’s population, but government and academic studies have revealed that North Korea systematically diverted the aid, using it to bolster its military might while millions, for whom the aid was intended, starved to death. “
“North Korea has been considered the world’s worst persecutor of Christians for many years by objective researchers of religious persecution such as Open Doors and Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Soon Ok Lee, one of the few survivors of the North Korean concentration camp system, has testified before Congress and later told MSNBC that “since the Korean War—in Korea they call it June 25 War—the No. 1 enemy is God. Kim Il Sung hated God most.”
It is common knowledge among refugees and people who follow North Korea that those discovered to have any kind of faith or religious belief—and their families, to three generations—are executed or sent to concentration camps for life. This constitutes genocide under Article 2 of the convention; consequently, the world has not only the moral duty but also the legal right and obligation, under Article 8, to intervene.”
Please pray with us for the liberation of North Korea and for the effective planning and success of this crucial initiative!