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Region Asia
Christian population 400 000 (1.5%)
Main religion Agnosticism
Main threats • Dictatorial paranoia
• Communist and post-Communist oppression

Total score






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1North Korea

Being discovered to be a Christian in North Korea is effectively a death sentence. Either believers will be sent to labour camps as political criminals – where they face a life of hard labour, which few survive – or they are killed on the spot. The same fate awaits family members. There are believed to be tens of thousands of Christians held in labour camps across the country.

The deplorable treatment of believers is driven by the authoritarian regime’s view that Christians are a particular threat to the country’s leadership and society. The “Anti-reactionary thought law” (enacted in December 2020) makes it amply clear that being a Christian or possessing a Bible is a serious crime and will be severely punished. The churches shown to visitors in Pyongyang serve mere propaganda purposes.

Meet Ji Ho

“I might be the only Christian in North Korea. But maybe other people hear the radio broadcasts, too. I hope that someday, I can meet another follower of Jesus.”

Ji Ho (name changed), who met Jesus through the radio.

What does Open Doors do to help?

Through secret networks outside the country, Open Doors secret workers are helping around 100 000 North Korean believers by providing vital food and aid, shelter and discipleship training for North Korean refugees at safe houses in China, and training through radio broadcasting from outside the country.

Please pray

  • Pray that believers imprisoned for their faith will always know God’s love and presence.
  • Pray that secret believers will be protected from the scrutiny of the authorities as they meet.
  • Pray that Kim Jong un’s regime will become more open to the help of the international community.

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