12 January 2009
Methodist Church lends support to Christians in North Korea
Many people aren't aware that there are Christians in North
Korea, let alone that The Methodist Church has been working with
This month, The Fund for World Mission will grant £5,000 to help the Church in North Korea run a food production company to help people there.
The Methodist Church in Britain will be joining in the Global Day of Repentance and Prayer for North Korea on January 14, using Day 22 of the Prayer Handbook.
Steve Pearce, Partnership Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific, said: "Times are particularly hard for all the people of North Korea at the present time. The North Korean population is cut off and isolated from the rest of the world and dependent on the regime for their needs. Food is scarce for many - there are problems in the supply of humanitarian aid.
"Christianity is treated as 'a bad element' in this socialist country. Christians have been beaten, arrested, tortured, or killed because of their religious beliefs but local sources estimates the number of underground Christians to be at least 200,000, maybe many more, and many of them are imprisoned for their faith.
"Raids are made regularly, both in North Korea and China, to arrest refugees and those helping them."
The British Methodist Church and the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development on the Korean Peninsula have been developing common projects with Church representatives from North and South Korea, North America and Europe.
Loving God, who cares for each of us on this varied and fragile planet, We pray for your people in North Korea and ask that they may be fed and warm this winter. We give thanks for our partnership with the South Korea Methodist Church and the opportunity to work with them in the Ecumenical Forum, for our opportunities to offer what help we can through the Fund for World Mission. and for the faith of Christians in North Korea. We ask for your hope and love to grow throughout the Korean Peninsula, Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Website of the Korean Methodist Church here. Information on the World Council of Churches website here .