I am a part of a team that is working on a project to figure out how you would plant a church in North Korea. We have been learning about church planting this week, and now we have to put what we have learned to the test! I was in charge of researching what the lifestyle is like in North Korea so that we could create strategies for how to reach people more effectively. I learned so many interesting things that I actually did not know before.
In North Korea, everything revolves around the Kim family. Kim Jong-un is the supreme leader, and the people are taught to worship this family. The people are required to have pictures of the leaders in their homes, they must sing songs praising the leadership, and there are statues everywhere. North Korean people are brought up being told that their every word, thought, and action is known by the Kim family. People in North Korea have no internet access, only access to the state-controlled intranet. Everything that the people listen to, watch, or look up is controlled by the state. If they were to get access to watching a Hollywood movie or another illegal product, then they could be punished through execution or torture. Everything the people believe comes directly from the Supreme leader. The people are brought up to view America as the enemy. America is evil because of the Korean War. Every struggle the North Koreans face is blamed on America, so they are brought up with a hatred for the country. The people have a deep loyalty to their country and the Supreme leader.
There are many obstacles to church planting in a place like North Korea. It is not impossible, because nothing is impossible for God. But it definitely presents many challenges. My team came up with an outline for how we believe we could begin to reach people and then start a church plant. The church there would not look anything like the kind of church we are used to in America because they do not have religious freedom like we do here. But a church could form. In fact there already are underground churches in North Korea, which is exciting! People are hearing about Christ here, but there are still many people that have not heard the Gospel yet.
So we have an informal plan to present tomorrow for our project, and we will see how it goes.
Much love, B