North Korea is one of the most difficult countries for Christians to live in, and people practicing Christianity can land up in prison camps or even be put to death.
Recently a North Korean Christian woman escaped to China for a better life and to be baptized. Open Doors ministry identified her as “Bon-Hwa,” she fled the repressive country two years ago and found shelter in a safe house with the help of Open Doors partners.
At a secret Women to Women meeting, she got to know about Jesus Christ and took baptism. “She wanted to be baptized so badly that she couldn’t wait any longer,” said the Open Doors pastor who baptized her. But as baptism in North Koreans is illegal and dangerous, so she, her pastor, and group leader traveled to a remote location that “took many hours to reach.”
An Open Doors staff member said her baptism was a “holy moment.” The pastor opened the small ceremony in prayer and christened the refugee – then everyone recited the Apostles’ Creed. He said, “I had to contain myself and focus on the steps of the ceremony, or else, I would have cried loudly myself. It was such a beautiful moment and such a privilege to baptize a North Korean believer in these circumstances.”
After she took baptism, Bon-Hwa has memorized all of Psalm 119, Romans 8 and other chapters of the Bible and is aware of the risks involved with professing her faith and that she could be arrested any day, yet she puts her hope in Jesus. Most North Korean underground Christians don’t openly preach the word to others, but keep their beliefs to themselves or within their immediate families. But they too face danger, recently North Korea has arrested South Korean and American missionaries for allegedly attempting to build underground church networks or overthrow its government.
Open Doors, says that an average of eight Christians were killed for their faith every day last year and 23 Christians were raped or sexually harassed in faith-related violence each day. It also said that 182 churches or church buildings were attacked and 276 Christian homes were burned or destroyed. We thank God for the bold step of baptism that Bon-Hwa has taken to get deeper in her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we pray for the Pastor and leaders of Open Doors who have not shied away from boldly preaching the gospel in the most difficult areas of the world and helping Christians living in these countries.