Washington D.C., May 14, 2017 / 15:03 pm
Although the North Korean government is doing everything it can to suppress Christianity, the faith continues to spread, said a defector and missionary who called for prayers and action to increase religious freedom in the country.
“It is my prayer that all the international Christian communities will pray for those North Korean Christians to really help and engage them to spread the Gospel, not only through the works of the underground Church network, but also through the government and request for this religious freedom that they are earnestly praying for,” Kim Chung-seong, a North Korean defector, told reporters through a translator on Friday.
Kim is a Christian missionary, and spoke at the first annual World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians in Washington, D.C. The summit was held on May 11-12 and featured Christian religious leaders from Protestant denominations, Orthodox churches, and the Roman Catholic Church. Persecuted Christians themselves were also present to give their testimonies.
Overall, Christians from around 130 countries and territories were represented at the summit, as well as representatives of Christian advocacy groups like Open Doors USA and Voice of the Martyrs. The summit was hosted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Vice President Mike Pence delivered the keynote address on Thursday, and pledged that “protecting and promoting religious freedom is a foreign policy priority of the Trump administration.” He promised his prayers and support for persecuted Christians everywhere, as well as support for members of other faiths persecuted for their beliefs. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C. gave a keynote address on Friday.
Kim, who also spoke at the summit, is now part of a daily Christian radio program in South Korea, broadcasting Christian material into parts of North Korea. Kim came to South Korea in 2004, according to Reuters.
Along with his radio program, part of the Far East Broadcasting Company, he also helps send Gospel messages, Christian music, and world news smuggled into North Korea through USB drives and SD memory cards, he said.
“However, the most important work is to fill the North Korean peoples’ minds with Jesus Christ, because the truth will set you free,” he said on Friday. “It’s my earnest prayer that the truth will set each of my North Korean brothers and sisters free.”