There have been many discussions at our church about how to celebrate Jesus this Christmas in a way that puts him on center-stage in our Christmas celebrations. For most of us, however we choose to do this, we will be able to do so gathered around many family and friends, where we can openly celebrate and rejoice in the gift of the incarnation as we eagerly await the final consumation of our salvation through Jesus’ return.

However, not all Christians around the world have been given the grace of open fellowship with other believers. There are believed to be tens of thousands of Christian disciples in North Korea. Unfortunately it is illegal for them to openly practice their faith. This sad reality may cause you wonder: how will Christians in North Korea celebrate this Christmas.

An article titled “Lonely Christmas for Christians in North Korea” paints both a bleak, yet surprisingly hopeful view of the length that many North Korean Christians will go to this Christmas to worship their Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Here is an excerpt:

Simon, whose full name cannot be given for security reasons, explains that believers in North Korea can usually only gather two at a time on a given Sunday. A Christian would sit on a park bench and another Christian would come sit next to him. If no one is around, they may be able to share a Bible verse they know by heart and briefly give a reflection. They also share prayer topics with each other, said Simon.

“Then they leave one another and go and look for Christians in some other part of their town. This continues throughout Sunday,” he said.

A cell group usually has less than 20 Christians who meet and encourage one another this way or meet one-on-one in people’s homes.

In this way, Christmas will also be celebrated.