Before he escaped across the Yalu River into China, Park Chin-Mae was a border guard, tasked with keeping North Korea’s citizens locked inside their own country and keeping contraband — especially Bibles — out of the country.
“They know the Bible is the enemy,” Chin-Mae said of his fellow border guards.
But once he fled to South Korea, Chin-Mae began attending Christian services at a resettlement center. He was tasked with laying out Bibles before the service began. As he did so, he realized he was safely holding in his hands the same book that could have gotten him killed on the other side of the border.
He started to read the Bible and soon found himself drawn to follow the Christ he had encountered in its pages. “I didn’t just read it like any other book; I read it and I took every word of the Bible into my heart,” he said.
Chin-Mae is safely out of North Korea, but many followers of Christ are still trapped and suffering inside the secretive nation. And it’s not only North Korea where our Christian brothers and sisters suffer. Believers face persecution in more than 70 other nations.
For more than 50 years, The Voice of the Martyrs has helped Christians persecuted for their witness around the world. VOM founder Richard Wurmbrand said of this work, “Our duty is to give a piece of bread to the wives and families of persecuted and jailed believers.”
That need still exists today. When Christians’ homes and churches are burned, or pastors and evangelists are beaten, imprisoned or killed, families are often left without financial support. VOM responds by helping persecuted Christians with living expenses, children’s educational needs, relocation within their nation, vocational training and other forms of assistance.