Date:  November 23, 2023

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. (Psalm 16:1)

You may remember that Save North Korean Refugees Day was at the end of September, when we asked you to pray for those who are being illegally returned to the dangers they have fled.

Sadly just two weeks later, on the evening of 9 October, over 500 North Korean refugees were forcibly returned from China under the cover of darkness. They were mostly women, particularly civilians and religious figures who had been trying to escape to safety in South Korea.

This is another reminder that we must continue to raise our voices in prayer, especially since North Korea began lifting its COVID-19 border controls in August. According to Human Rights Watch, Chinese authorities forcibly returned 80 refugees on 29 August, followed by 40 others on 18 September. 

‘The horrific treatment they will now face in North Korea is no secret,’ said Mervyn Thomas, CSW Founder President. 

Yet China continues to return refugees to North Korea, knowing that they will likely face torture, imprisonment, or even public execution. Those found to have had contact with Christians are known to face particularly harsh punishment.

Please pray urgently:

  • That China would stop sending refugees back to North Korea and be held accountable for failing their international obligations. As a member of the United Nations and a party to the UN Refugee Convention and Protocol, China must grant refugee status to North Korean refugees, or at least allow them safe passage to a third country.
  • For the safety and freedom of those who were recently returned to North Korea by Chinese authorities, and for all those currently detained in prison camps.
  • That those who have escaped the extreme repression of North Korea – including many Christians – will be able to reach a place of safety and refuge without detection.
  • For miraculous transformation in North Korea and China, and a future where human rights are a reality for all.