North Korea often makes headlines these days for its human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation, and long-range missiles. The news tends to portray the North as an ‘Axis of Evil’, but there is much more to this country and the divided Korean peninsula. Not mentioned in the news is the many foreign engagement activities occurring in North Korea—in fact, since 1995 there have been four thousand projects that have been initiated by five hundred foreign organizations, of which over seventy are Christian-based.
The Lausanne Movement, with its global reach and broad participation, has been pivotal in recent years in providing an appropriate forum in which to discuss the challenges found within the Korean peninsula and issues related to North Korean engagement.
The North Korea Committee of the Lausanne Movement convened gatherings in 2014 and 2016, bringing together key global leaders in business, development, education, and humanitarian aid with experience inside North Korea to share what God is doing through Christ’s body.
Then in 2017, the committee brought together leading scholars and experts to publish articles related to North Korean engagement and Korean unification issues in Mission Frontiers and International Bulletin of Mission Research (IBMR). This was the first time that field experts and academic scholars collaborated to produce papers from a Christian perspective about North Korea—a true milestone, and consistent with Lausanne’s mission statement of connecting influencers and ideas for global mission.
The next consultation will take place in Seoul, South Korea, from 15-17 November 2018. The purpose of this consultation will be to produce various types of training curricula which can be utilized by churches, organizations, and even informal groups of friends to educate about and mobilize for North Korea. Moreover, in cooperation with organizations in Korea, we hope to produce a more in-depth curriculum along with a workbook.
The articles from the 2017 Seoul gathering, along with several additional articles emerging from the Lausanne North Korea consultations, are now available on the Lausanne website through the links below. They provide unique insider’s views of the country and come from deep wells of experience, faith, and love, covering topics ranging from medical missions to tourism, autism to Otto Warmbier. I encourage you to browse through them, and to above all pray for the Korean peninsula.
Articles published in Mission Frontiers:
Articles published in IBMR:
Additional articles (from a consultation in November 2017):
Father, let there be forgiveness and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. After years of bloodshed and violence, would you allow us to witness your amazing, overwhelming forgiveness and reconciliation? May the reconciliation on the Korean peninsula show the world a glimpse of the reconciliation you bring through the Prince of Peace, and may it be an occasion to draw all peoples to you across ethnic, geographical, and political lines. To you alone be the glory!
Jamie Kim is Chair of the Lausanne Movement’s North Korea Committee. He is an Associate Professor of the Christian Unification Leadership Program at Soongsil University in Seoul, Korea. He serves as the founding director of Reah International, a California-based non-profit organization that empowers Christian professionals to engage North Korea. His prayer is to envision a unified body of Christ engaged inside North Korea.