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Seo-yeon* didn’t understand the God her mother worshiped, or why she spent every day praying—often openly—risking arrest, imprisonment, torture, even death.

“Life is trouble. If there’s trouble, you should pray,” Seo-yeon’s mother would say.

As the years passed, Seo-yeon’s mother grew more devout, praying unceasingly, even outdoors in the snow. Seo-yeon remembered that her mother would also wash her hair and put on her nicest clothes to pray.

“We approach God with the deepest reverence,” said her mother.

But it wouldn’t be until Seo-yeon reached adulthood that her mother’s fervent prayer and bold faith would truly make an impact on her life.

For over 60 years, Open Doors has worked in the world's most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement and Christian Community Restoration.

“LORD! LORD!  HELP!”

North Korea, where Seo-yeon and her family are from, has been at the top of the World Watch List for the past 17 years.

It is the most closed country in the world, governed by the cruel dictatorship of Kim Jong-Un—the latest ruler to come from the dynastic family that has controlled North Korea for more than 70 years.

Christianity is considered a particularly serious threat to the regime. Children are indoctrinated to worship the country’s leadership, and there is no freedom of expression, speech or religion.

That’s why your prayers and support are so important to help the underground church stand strong. Will you help today?

#1 on the World Watch List

The challenge

Open Doors works to support North Korean believers when the need arises. The risks in this most closed country in the world are enormous, and exposure could mean swift and sudden punishment—including imprisonment in one of the country’s brutal labor camps.

Please prayerfully consider how God is leading you to help. Then respond without delay.

Christians are seeking truth in the midst of the daily struggles they must endure. Your support will help them know there is hope and a worldwide Christian family standing with them.

Will you allow God to use you now to provide Bibles, emergency food, medicine, safe houses, training and other critical resources to strengthen secret believers in North Korea? Please give as you are able to help us raise $193,500 by November 4.

What will your gift provide?

When you give today, your gift will provide resources and support to help the underground church in North Korea stand strong. Your gift may be used to provide:

Bibles & other Christian literature

Emergency food

Medical relief

Will you let God use you to help provide Bibles, food, medicines and other critical resources for brothers and sisters in North Korea?

The situation in North Korea is uncertain and dangerous. Its government, under the dictatorial rule of Kim Jong-Un, keeps the people tightly controlled and oppressed.

Christians in North Korea need encouragement and support to know that God is with them—and so are you.

Please be as generous as you can today to provide Bibles, emergency food, medicine, safe houses, training and other critical resources to strengthen and support them in their day-to-day life.

GIVE NOW

A struggle to survive

Seo-yeon eventually married and had children. But two of her six children died at an early age. Then, her husband lost his job and Seo-yeon was forced to sell things on the black market to survive. She would often travel illegally on the train or carry heavy, frozen meat into the mountains to sell.

One day, Seo-yeon tried to jump off a train before it came to a complete stop. Her leg got stuck and she was badly injured when she fell. Her spine became deformed and after a while, she could no longer straighten her back. But there was no money for medical care.

“LORD!
LORD!
HELP!”

*Representative images and names used to protect identity.

Finding eternal life

With their situation growing more and more desperate, Seo-yeon and her husband sent their two eldest daughters to China. But they were sold into marriage to poor Chinese farmers.

Seo-yeon’s husband left to try and find their daughters, but a year later, he hadn’t returned.

“I had lost everything that was dear to me,” Seo-yeon says. But it was in that moment that her dear mother’s unfailing prayer came back to her:

“Lord! Lord! Help!”

With God’s grace, Seo-yeon located her missing husband and daughters and, along with her two younger children, they were all reunited in China.

The family attended a church, where they heard the entire gospel for the first time.

“We had seen the faith of my mother,” Seo-yeon shares. “But now we understood it. All of us accepted Jesus Christ that day. We felt peace in our hearts and unexplainable joy. It was so refreshing, as if the dirt in my eyes had been washed away and I could finally see God.”

GIVE BY NOVEMBER 4 TO HELP RAISE $193,500

Safe houses

Give by November 4 to help raise $193,500

SECRET BELIEVERS IN NORTH KOREA NEED YOUR HELP TO STAND STRONG

"Life is trouble"

Captured and tortured in prison

But life still would not settle down for Seo-yeon and her family. They were discovered by Chinese secret agents and sent back to North Korea—where they were sent to a prison camp.

They were locked in solitary confinement, beaten and made to kneel in their cells for seven hours a day.

Seo-yeon's husband, whose faith was discovered by the guards, endured brutal beatings and torture. But he would not turn away from his faith.

“The more they tortured him, the harder he defended his faith,” Seo-yeon says. Beaten again and again, her husband would eventually die, due to the trauma.

After their release, Seo-yeon and her youngest daughter escaped back to China and sought out their church. Seo-yeon and two of her daughters now live in South Korea. Though she is still separated from her son and one of her daughters, her faith sustains her. And she prays every day, like her mother.

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