For the last 13 years North Korea has ranked as the #1 country persecuting Christians! The intense persecution has continued under the new leader Kim Jong-Un. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians suffer in horrific prison camps. By the time you read this www.openarms.org will release (January 8) the 2014 list of the Top 50 countries where Christians are imprisoned, tortured, and martyred for their faith. Be sure to download the list and add it to your daily prayer journal.
The Top 10 Persecuting countries in 2013 after North Korea are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Maldives, Mali, Iran, Yemen, and Eritrea. Eight of the Top 10 are Islamic majority countries. In addition, to Mali at #7 and Tanzania #24, other newcomers on the Top 50 list are Kenya #40, Uganda #47, and Niger #50. The Arab Spring has definitely turned into an Arab Winter for Christians! The civil war in Syria, which has killed at least 40,000 people, boosted the country standing to #11.
Today I interviewed a true experienced, compassionate veteran to the persecuted church, Rev. Paul M.F. Estabrooks, Minister-At-Large for Open Doors, the world’s largest outreach to persecuted Christians in the most high-risk places. I can’t say enough good things about Paul. For 34 years he has encouraged and ministered to suffering Christians in Cuba, Tibet, Iraq, Bhutan, Mongolia, Iran, India, Russia, and the Middle East. Go on Amazon.com and get his books. Escape from North Korea is a breath-taking story of one valiant believer’s escape from North Korea. Be sure to watch today’s interview on 100 Huntley Street: http://www.100huntley.com/video?id=F4AJiFscqNA. I was so touched by Paul’s ministry and our interview revealed a stunning fact most people don’t know.
Kim Il-sung was the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, since its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994, and revered as a god. Did you know his mother was a believer in Jesus Christ! Faithful Canadian missionaries came to North Korea and God used them to ignite the Pyongyang revival of 1907-08 when the church grew from 800 to 23,000 in one year! Paul led a Canadian prayer team through North Korea three years ago and prayed for the communist Colonel at the DMZ.
Is you day filled with you just thinking about your petty problems and life’s minor aches? Transition your mind – every day pray for Christians who are dying for their faith and experiencing such unspeakable horrors. May God comfort their dear hearts and may we each day pray earnestly for them. Thank God for Brother Andrew and his team. I read his book, God’s Smuggler, shortly after I became a Christian and I never forgot it. Today was one of those touching days for me – Paul Estabrooks challenged my walk with Jesus Christ. God bless and protect your Paul!