Praise!: Imprisoned North Korean Bible study leader freed

March 28, 2020 by Lindy Lowry in Asia

Last year, our field asked for urgent prayers for an imprisoned North Korean Christian, Lady Eunji*, a leader of a Bible study for North Korean women refugees now living in China. This week, our field worker received a call from Eunji saying that she was just released from the detention center.

Praise God! She is now with her husband and children.

In August 2019, Chinese security officials arrested Eunji around the North Korean/China border. For almost 10 months, she has been held in a Chinese detention center, waiting for what would likely mean torture or even death for her—repatriation back to North Korea as a Christian. In North Korea, Christianity is seen as “hostile to the state.”

Because of her faith, Eunji would likely be transferred to a Kwan-li-so, a maximum-security political labor camp in North Korea. Open Doors estimates that approximately 50,000 Christians are held in inhumane prison camps in North Korea—in conditions that have been compared by Auschwitz survivors as “worse” than the infamous World War 11 concentration camp.

A former North Korean believer and prison camp survivor remembers when she learned she had escaped what would almost be certain death.

“People who are sent to the Kwan-li-so are never sentenced by a judge,” she told Open Doors. “They just disappear. No one survives the Kwanl-li-so. Most Christians go to these maximum-security North Korean prison camps.”

Hea Woo*, a North Korean prison camp survivor, shares her story and how God sustained her throughout her time in a North Korean labor camp.

While the details of Eunji’s release and escape are few, Eunji said that because her deportation to North Korea was delayed, she was able to remain in China and be released before she was repatriated. The delay gave her Chinese husband an opportunity to rescue her.

Keeping God in the center of her story, Eunji thanked God for His protection over her and for guiding her “in the valley of the death.”

And she thanked Christians for their prayers: “Thanks for your prayer support and love in Christ.”

Praying with Eunji

Thank God for Eunji’s release from the detention center and reunion with her family. 

Pray that Eunji would be able to rejoin her Bible study and continue sharing Christ’s love with the women in it.

Pray for future protection for Eunji and her family. Pray that she will not be arrested again and repatriated to North Korea. 

Pray with political prisoners in North Korean prison camps, especially Christians in the Kwan-li-so. Ask God to be tangibly close to them and bring them supernatural power to endure and His peace that passes all understanding.

*representative names and photos used for security reasons

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