In the communist country of North Korea, under the dictator Kim Jong Un, North Korea is ranked as the most oppressive place in the world for Christians. Christians are forced to hide their faith completely. It is mandated that all citizens worship the Kim family. The people who do not comply are faced with imprisonment, being tortured, or even killed.
Christians from neighboring South Korea are involved in a special mission to get Scripture into the hands of North Korean Christians, and that mission involves specially-designed balloons.
The balloons are filled with pages of Scripture and can fit the entire book of Mark. The South Koreans then drive to the border of North and South Korea–the demilitarized zone, fill the balloons with helium, and launch the balloons, which, if the weather is right, will float down into North Korean territory.
The initiative is known as Operation Dandelion. “We started this project back in 1991, and just as a dandelion needs the wind to spread its seeds, we need the wind to spread the message,” explained a South Korean Christian identified as Peter who is involved in the project.
“It’s almost impossible to get Bibles into North Korea, so using balloons is one of the most effective ways to share the gospel,” Peter continued.
Why does North Korea despise Christianity? Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director for Human Rights in North Korea says, “the faith offers an alternative set of beliefs, an alternative way of life, a way of life that does not tolerate tyranny. The North Korean regime fears Christianity because it offers a venue for the exchange of ideas.” Operation dandelion is trying to put the scripture in the hands of these citizens who fear for their life and their families lives.
“By sending these balloons, we let our North Korean brothers and sisters know that we are praying for them and the scriptures on the balloons are meant to encourage them,” another believer added.
Prayers to the people who find the leaflets and Bible scriptures, that they will have a receptive heart. Also, pray for the Operation Dandelion mission, that they will keep sending the Gospel to the people of North Korea.