Pray for Our World: Korea, North

North Korea is probably the most isolated economy in the world.  They believe in an ideology called Juche, which means self-reliant.  The border between North and South Korea is one of the most impenetrable in the world.  There is a huge black market, chronic food shortages and widespread malnutrition.  It is evidence that we weren’t meant to live in isolation.

World War II and the years following it changed many things in our world.  Korea was occupied by Japan from around the first world war until 1945.  Upon Russia’s insistence after WWII, Korea was partitioned into a communist regime, and a civil war soon followed between the north and the south.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians from the pre-war days have died because of persecution and many more are in prisons or work camps.  Earlier, the Church in North Korea was the birthplace of Korean revival, and Pyongyang was known as the “Jerusalem of the East”.  But most fled to the South.  However we know that an Underground Church did survive.  Bibles, the Gospel and tracts are smuggled into the country through various means in South Korea, as well as through Korean Christians from China who are able to visit.  Pray for these people.  We cannot even imagine their life compared to ours.

Pray for Our World: Egypt

Egypt is mostly desert.  Only 3% is arable land.  92% of the people are Arab-speaking Egyptians, some who claim to be descendants of the ancient Coptic-speaking people of biblical times.  The church there has endured nearly 2000 years of discrimination and persecution, yet the last 20 years has seen an increase.  It’s hard to forget the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded on the beach in Egypt a few years ago for refusing to deny Jesus.

Coptic Christians follow the Greek Orthodox Church and are the largest ethno-religious minority in Egypt, making up about 10% of the mostly Muslim population.  They are probably more closely related to the original Egyptian civilization than the Muslims.  The Apostle Mark first brought Christianity to Egypt soon after Christ’s resurrection, and there was a large and influential Christian movement in Egypt prior to the Arab Muslim conquest in AD 640.  Egypt likes to downplay their Christian heritage but the church still survives there, despite many recent bombings, including the Christmas day 2016 bombing in Cairo.

Pray for the church and Christians in Egypt, that they may continue to persevere in this important and historical area of the world.