Date: October 31, 2020
‘He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.’ (Deuteronomy 10:18)
The people of Israel were foreigners in Egypt, and throughout the Bible we see that God cares especially for refugees and asylum-seekers – the Old Testament contains repeated instructions to care for any foreigners among you. With that in mind, we’re asking you this week to pray for North Korean refugees.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created many problems, but it has also created opportunities, and this is one we don’t want to miss: there’s a chance to secure safe haven for tens of thousands of North Korean refugees who are in grave danger.
Every year, many thousands of people make the incredibly dangerous journey to escape North Korea, and end up in China. China then deports them back to North Korea, where they face the same dangers that they fled from – sometimes with added danger because they are known to have attempted to flee.
A once-in-a-lifetime chance
But due to the pandemic, North Korea has now stated that it will not accept these people back into the country. This means there’s a chance for them to be resettled in South Korea – if the president agrees to accept them.
North Korea is the world’s most closed, isolated and repressive state, with one of the worst records for human rights. There is no freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, and any North Korean who expresses an opinion or a belief which differs from the regime’s propaganda faces severe punishment. It is estimated that over 200,000 people are detained in prison camps, where they endure dire living conditions and brutal torture. Many of these are Christians.
We’re joining other activists and organisations to ask South Korea’s President Moon to accept these North Korean refugees, to give them a chance to start a new life in safety and freedom.
In summary, please pray:
- Pray for the activists and campaigners working on this issue, that their words will find favour.
- Pray that President Moon’s heart will be softened and that he will agree that South Korea can accept the North Korean refugees.
- Ask God to protect the tens of thousands of refugees as they wait in limbo.