January 2012 Crosslinks
Paul Cavill’s recent visit to Shanghai gave a very positive picture of the church in China today. The churches there are full and China is now the world’s biggest producer of Bibles. This is great news, but Shanghai is often regarded as a showcase to the West and the situation around the country is still very variable. However, it is a miracle to see how the church has grown in the last twenty years.
China is one of the few allies of neighbouring North Korea, where the picture is still very bleak. The recent death of Kim Jong-il and the succession of his son, Kim Jong-un, does not look as if it will change things. More than 1% of the population of North Korea live in dire labour camps. Among them are between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians, who are considered ‘enemies of the state’. Another estimated 300,000 Christians have to hide their faith.
Even possessing a Bible is enough to get them executed or imprisoned for life along with their entire family.
Pray for North Korea that:
• all Christians will be freed
• people will be allowed freedom of belief.