Thousands of Christians wailed in prayers for North Korean freedom at what has been described as the largest international gathering of Korean and non-Korean pastors worldwide.
In the past two days, cries were heard from Youngnak Presbyterian Church in Seoul, South Korea, over human rights abuses and the brutality that North Koreans experience in their daily lives. The Wailing Prayer Meeting, held Feb. 28-Mar. 1, acted as a prelude to a larger prayer campaign to raise awareness about the
desperate and non-humane conditions in the North.
"Ninety-nine years ago North Korea was a center for revival and many of the mega churches in South Korea that are looked to as examples of church growth around the world were planted by those fleeing from North Korea," said Elizabeth Batha, international advocate of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. "Now is the time to raise up a concert of prayer that will see that blessing flood back into North Korea.
Support came from religious heads throughout the world including Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and Dr. Robert A. Schuller, senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral.
The larger Global Prayer Campaign for North Korea will galvanize even more prayers on June 19-25 to break the silence of both the Communist regime and the Church worldwide.
Batha, a co-pioneer of the global prayer campaign, urged all believers to get on board, to participate in the Week and to visit the new website to see how they can get involved.
Expressing a similar urgency, Yonggi Cho, senior pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea said in a statement, "We have been praying fervently for North Korea for many decades now, specifically praying for the peaceful unification of the two Koreas.
"We have many young pastors preparing for the ministry who are planning to enter North Korea when this door is open, he continued. It would be deeply appreciated if you would join us in prayer for North Korea. God is not willing that any should perish without Him."
North Korea topped the 2006 Open Doors World Watch List, released yesterday, for the fourth straight year. The communist regime is suspected of detaining more political and religious prisoners than any other country in the world. Although the U.S. Department reported that little is known about the day-to-day life of religious persons in the country, defectors and reports have increasingly exposed the torture and discrimination Christians face regularly.
With little or no progress seen in human rights even after the enactment of the 2004 North Korean Human Rights Act, testimonies from defectors and victims of human rights abuse have convinced activists and members of the U.S. Congress to urge for immediate leadership and action on the part of the United States.
To get involved with the Global Week of Prayer for North Korea, visit www.csw.org.uk/.