In April, North Korean secret agents martyred a Korean-Chinese pastor who lived in a town on the Chinese border with North Korea. Pastor Han Choong Yeol was active in helping North Korean refugees. He helped provide food, medicines, clothes and other goods they needed for survival back in North Korea. Pastor Han was dedicated to serving God’s Kingdom and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
On Saturday 30 April, Pastor Han left his home just after noon, expected back at 5pm. When he didn’t return, people went out in search of him. They found him in the early evening with multiple stab wounds.
People who worked with Han describe him as ‘extremely passionate for North Koreans’. His ministry came with a price. In November 2014, a deacon of his church was kidnapped and never heard of again. Pastor Han knew he was a target too, but continued his ministry.
The North Korean authorities have denied any involvement in the murder of Korean-Chinese pastor Han Choong Yeol, according to United Press International.
Pyongyang’s propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri released a statement on Thursday 5 May calling the claims ‘absurd anti-North Korean sophistry’.
They went on to say: “After the murder of Pastor Han on April 30, the puppet authorities are once again yammering up clichés about the North. The truth will be revealed. The South Korean authorities are addicted to dirty slander…but their anti-human rights crimes can never be concealed.”
Han was 49 years old and pastored a strong local church of 600 members. He leaves behind a wife and two children.
Pray for Han’s family, friends and congregation members, to find comfort in God’s promises. Pray for protection and courage of others involved in serving North Koreans fleeing to China.