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The president and CEO of Open Doors USA updated CT on North Korea, which again ranked on Open Doors' World Watch List as the world's worst persecutor of Christians in 2008.

What should be Christians' strategy toward North Korea?

We should listen to the church in North Korea. And they say, "Pray." We have to circle everything we do in prayer for those Christians who are suffering right now, whether in labor camps or in the cities. That said, we can also speak out. We deliver petitions to the Chinese embassy, because we don't have diplomatic relations with North Korea. China really holds the key, propping the country up economically and socially.

Why not help North Korean Christians escape as refugees?

In one sense, that's an admirable goal, but if we smuggled them all out, we would be abandoning that nation to hell. This regime is horrible but also quite unstable, and if something politically or socially radically changes, there needs to be a Christian church there living the love of Jesus Christ out loud in front of a decaying society.

How should American churches make the persecuted church one of their priorities?

The greatest sin we can commit against the persecuted church is to make it boring and irrelevant to American "Churchianity." We can learn from the persecuted church. This recession has brought fear and insecurity. Yet that's a common experience the persecuted church deals with every day. What gives them the faith to wake up every day and still live out their faith in a consistent manner?

The American church needs to know that God's Word is enough for us during this time. That's a lesson our brothers and sisters in the persecuted church have been praying for us for years. They want us to know the reality of Jesus Christ, ...

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May 2009

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