South Korean Pastor Sentenced to Labor Camp
South Korean Baptist missionary, Kim Jong Wook, who was arrested in North Korea last year in October, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in a labor camp.
Pastor Kim had been involved with ministry among North Korean refugees. Publicly he tried to persuade many North Koreans to establish underground churches with the purpose of overthrowing the North Korean government. He was enticed into coming to North Korea by a North Korean secret agent in order to discover the fate of some people who had disappeared in North Korea. Pastor Kim was immediately arrested upon entering the country.
During the investigation, the North Korean government discovered many people with whom Kim had been in contact with. Officials rounded up dozens of people, many of whom had converted to Christianity. Some of them may have already been killed.
It is unlikely that the North Korean government will ever release Mr. Kim because of the knowledge he has gained about the methods of North Korea’s spy agency.
Another South Korean missionary was arrested in a similar case several years ago. After serving a hard labor sentence in a prison camp, he reappeared as the assistant pastor of the Bongsu (showcase) church in Pyongyang. He committed suicide within a few years of his release from the labor camp.
Pastor Kim reportedly has a good heart and the best of intentions, but made the mistake of trusting the wrong people. Sadly, his arrest has also endangered the lives of many other people. Please pray that God’s mercy will abound to Pastor Kim and all others involved; that He will keep them strong in their faith and protect them from harm. Pray that God will change the character of the North Korean government.
Father, we thank You for Pastor Kim who boldly proclaimed Your gospel in North Korea. We pray your mercy upon him in his misplaced zeal, and pray You will daily fill him with Your Word and with Your peace, courage and discernment. We pray protection over those whose security was compromised through his actions, and that out of the ashes of this tragedy, You would raise up beauty and good on behalf of Your church. Father, Satan is a mighty foe in this nation, but Christ is greater and the victory has been won in heaven. We pray now for that victory here on earth, and for the nation of North Korea to humble herself before You and render godly justice. In the name of Jesus, our Victor, Amen.