London (Fides Service) – A ecumenical week of prayer in aid of North Korea in underway launched by the London based human rights organisation Christian Solidarity Worldwide CWS which promotes awareness of situations of persecution suffered by Christians and help to communities in difficulty. Christian associations and movements in Europe and in Asia are taking part in the Week of Prayer 23 –29 June 2003. CWS calls on all Christians to pray for the difficult situation of Christians in North Korea.
In the last fifty years, CWS recalls, in North Korea under communist regime and total isolation, Christian churches have been suppressed and believers persecuted, to the point that today they are estimated to be only a few hundred who survived thanks to oral tradition which helped keep faith in Jesus Christ, while the state promoted the personal cult of Korean political leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
Christians the world over recall the martyrs who gave their life for the faith in North Korea, and they pray that the light of Christ may shine once again over Korea., touching hearts of governors and converting them to strive to promote the common good. CWS prepared special prayer books for the occasion and hopes, with this spiritual undertaking to draw the world’s attention to the situation in a country where Christians are persecuted and people continue to die of hunger.
The organisation recently issued its annual report on violation of freedom of conscience and religious belief in various countries. PA (Fides Service 30/5/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 295)