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'It couldn't get worse for a North Korean believer right now': Christians called to pray as virus potentially about to hit

by Heather Preston

A Norther Korean expert has spoken of the need to pray for believers in the state as the disappearance of leader Kim Jong Un suggests a possible outbreak of coronavirus.

It has been announced that US officials monitoring the situation "haven't seen" North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently and are watching reports about his health "closely".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was concerned the secretive state could be hit either by the coronavirus outbreak or a famine.

North Korea expert Dr Ronald Boyd-MacMillan works for Christian religious freedom charity Open Doors.

He told Premier his concerns are with believers there as their protection from the disease will not be the priority. 

"[The virus] may not have reached it because it's a very isolated state but if they've slipped over from China then that is a possible source of contamination. 

"The regime don't care if Covid-19 decimates the population, they only care about the elite.

North Korea is a communist nation where it is illegal to practise Christianity. Those who are discovered are either shot on site or imprisoned in labour camps. Boyd-MacMillan explains that even if the country's leader had to change, Christians would still face persecution.

"It couldn't get much worse for a North Korean believer right now, you are still forbidden to worship. Family churches are underground. We still think there are some 50-70,000 people in Auschwitz-like concentration camps there.

"Pray believers will feel the strength of God through this," he added. 

Although many face oppression from the country's regime, Boyd-MacMillan says he's hopeful God is continuing to do great things there.

"There's evidence that in these conditions, the church is growing. There is also evidence that the more a regime tries to make you worship it the more you realise they are not gods and you actually get encouraged to turn to the one true God and that can sometimes bring revival."


Listen to the full interview with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here: 


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