"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:44-45
Family of Kim Jong-Un’s uncle put to death
All direct relatives of the executed uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, including women and children, have been put to death at the leader’s instruction, multiple sources reported this week.
Jang Song-thaek was executed last month on charges of attempting to overthrow the Communist regime. His executed relatives include Jang’s sister Jang Kye-sun, her husband and Ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong-jin, and Ambassador to Malaysia Jang Yong-chol, who is Jang’s nephew, as well as his two sons, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
"The executions of Jang’s relatives mean that no traces of him should be left," a source said. "The purge of the Jang Song-thaek people is under way on an extensive scale from relatives and low-level officials."
This latest crackdown is bad news for all citizens, and certainly for Christians, who are viewed as enemies of the state. How can we pray for Christians in North Korea in the light of these terrible events? Jan Vermeer, an Open Doors worker involved with our work in North Korea, shares what he has learnt from the Bible about praying for the persecuted church.
"’Pray for those who persecute you. Bless your enemies.’ We tend to miss the significance of Jesus’ commandment. He orders us to pray for the persecutors and to bless the enemies of the gospel. Canon Andrew White from Baghdad has to lead his congregation through a time of severe terrorism. He says: ‘If you want to stop terrorism, there is no point in talking to the good people. You have to speak with the bad people.’ Praying for our enemies is the most strategic thing we can do.
"The difficult part is application in everyday life. These principles just feel… wrong. So God really wants me to pray for Kim Jong-Un’s terrible regime and bless them?
"Then I read what North Korean Christians say about their requests before God’s throne. They pray God will come to their aid soon. They pray God will bless their leaders with the gospel of the risen Christ. They pray that God’s name will be glorified through the underground church. And so should I."
Source: Yonhap news agency; Open Doors
- Ask God to bless Kim Jong-Un and to open his heart to the gospel
- For change within the regime. Pray that God will rescue them from the dominion of darkness and bring them into the kingdom of light
- For Christians in North Korea. Ask God to give them the strength, wisdom and courage to glorify His name in every circumstance.
With many thanks for your prayers.
Open Doors Prayer Team