North Korea: Underground churches pressured during Covid crisis


By Mark Ellis –

underground church in North Korea

Like China, the totalitarian government of North Korea took extreme measures to lock down their country at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic and still claim there are no confirmed cases in the country.

“At present the border between North Korea and China is blocked,” reports Peter Lee with Cornerstone Ministries International, which supports the underground church in North Korea. “No one can come and go, yet God opens the way.”

Despite the crackdown, Lee’s ministry was able to slip 2,000 digital training materials to North Korean underground churches recently.

“There are over 1,800 underground churches in North Korea,” he says.

One of their missionaries in North Korea reported on the country’s dire conditions. “The situation is very difficult because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he wrote. “It is hard for me and others to live. Prices of oil, flavor, soap, and flour have gone up so much, and daily necessities have also gone up in price, since we could not trade with China.

“I have had a hard time, but others are worse-off. Also, the medicine that used to come from China has stopped and we are having trouble because there is no medicine. Everything is so expensive, so we can’t think of buying anything.”

In addition to Bible training materials, Cornerstone Ministries has been sending funds to cover living expenses and daily necessities to support the underground church, along with the ingredients to make and distribute bread to orphans.

They are also attempting to rescue an underground church leader imprisoned for several years. “Often when a person in North Korea is sent to political prison for being a Christian, his or her family then has no further word concerning their whereabouts. His or her identity is simply lost,” Lee explained.

“We believe this rescue can succeed only with God’s help.”


How to Pray

Pray for the success of Cornerstone’s Rescue Operation to free this church leader.

Pray for the reopening of the delivery route between China and North Korea, which has been blocked by Covid-19 measures. Pray that the ministry of Bibles and training materials will continue.

Pray that God will supply the food the North Koreans need and protect the believers from harm.

Pray the ministers traveling in and out of North Korea will overcome persecution and the pandemic and continue to preach the Good News strongly and courageously.

Pray for new leadership and the opening of the country so people can worship God freely.

To learn more about Cornerstone’s work in North Korea, go here


  1. Praying for the success of Cornerstone Rescue Operation. For the underground churches in North Korea. For a Christian leader imprisoned. Yes, only God can help. Thank you God Reports. Be blessed.

Comments are closed.