A ministry leader helping persecuted Christians in North Korea has claimed that not a single believer there is praying for the fall of the regime, and instead they are praying for Kim Jong-Un to embrace Jesus Christ.
Eric Foley of Voice of the Martyrs, Korea, told Release International in a report published Wednesday: "I have never encountered a North Korean Christian who has prayed for the regime to be overthrown — not once in 15 years. Underground Christians are praying that Kim Jong-Un will come to know Christ."
Foley added: "Perhaps North Korean Christians know better than the rest of us, that it is not a change of government that will bring peace, but the entry of the Prince of Peace into our hearts. We should follow their lead and pray not for regime change, but for a change of the heart of the regime."
Release noted that much of the world was gripped with concern over North Korea's missile threats at the end of 2017, but for the nation's minority Christians, fearing for their lives is a constant experience.
Release CEO Paul Robinson said that Kim's government is "probably the harshest persecutor of Christians on the face of the Earth," which correlates with the designation that other groups, such as Open Doors USA, have given the isolated regime.
Robinson said that the nuclear threat crisis and conflict between North Korea and the West does not necessarily mean that things could get even worse for Christians there, simply because "it is hard to imagine how things could get any worse."
"North Korea doesn't just persecute Christians — it executes them. This crisis should give us the impetus to pray for the persecuted in that country," he said.
He pointed to estimates that say 30,000 out of the country's 100,000 Christians have been sent to concentration camps, with surveillance against believers as tight as ever before.
"Our partners working daily with North Korean Christians see the current crisis as a sharp reminder to pray for them. The world may feel on a knife-edge with nuclear missiles pointing in every direction, but the threat of extermination is the daily reality for North Korean Christians," Robinson noted.
Foley agreed with the sentiment, adding: "As we are in danger, let us remember those who have lived in constant danger for more than 70 years. The international community may be on a knife's edge right now, but to be a Christian in North Korea is to live on that knife's edge."
Foley has shared of the praying focus of North Koreans in the past, and in 2016 told Hope 103.2 that believers there are not asking God for their own freedom, but for help for Westerners who are tempted by material wealth.
"They don't pray for freedom and money. They pray for more of Christ and to mirror more of Christ in their life," Foley said at the time.
He reflected on the words of one defector who told him: "You pray for us? We pray for you. ... You have so much, you put your faith in your money and your freedom. In North Korea we have neither money nor freedom, but we have Christ and we've found He's sufficient."