There has been increased spotlight on Japan’s relationship with China, Korea, and the rest of the world. A combination of renewed tensions over disputed islands, the ongoing economic difficulties that Japan faces and a less pacifist perspective from politicians and other leaders, has led to louder voices of discontent (especially from the younger generation) than has typically been the case in years gone by. Attitudes towards foreigners and immigrants are varied. Pray for those in authority to act with balance and wisdom, and pray for Christians in Japan to make every effort to live peaceably with others in a way that is honouring to God as well as attractive and contagious to many who observe their day-to-day lives. (Romans 12:18).
Media reports have indicated that large numbers of South Koreans have been arrested in North East China over recent months. They are thought to have been involved in ministry to North Korean refugees escaping to China. Some reports have suggested that more than 1,000 South Koreans have been detained or deported over recent months as China continues its crackdown along their border with neighbouring North Korea. Some westerners were also arrested in August 2014 and remain in detention. Pray for the Lord to free those detained. Ask Him to guard His people. Pray that China’s authorities would exercise justice and mercy towards the many minority groups in the country, including those from North Korea who are frequently repatriated.
Thousands of North Koreans have settled in South Korea in the past few years. As well as religious and political persecution, food shortages have caused many to leave their homeland in search of a better life. However, after arriving in South Korea, many of these people struggle to adjust. Differences in culture and difficulty in finding work are common issues. Furthermore, most suffer from loneliness, having left family and friends behind, and many have been traumatised by their experiences in North Korea. Pray for these vulnerable and hurting people to find comfort in Jesus.
Population: 51,446,201 (2017)
Official languages: Korean
GDP (PPP) per capita: $39,446 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 81 years
Religions: 47% Atheist or Agnostic, 23% Buddhist, 18% Protestant, 11% Catholic, 1% other religions