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South Korea’s Glorious Challenge

Spreading the Good News is especially difficult, even dangerous, in what are referred to as the “Stan” nations – Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, etc. These Muslim-majority countries are highly resistant, if not openly hostile to the message of Christ.

Mission workers have been praying and strategizing for decades to breach the barrier and disciple the Stans. God recently began opening a new door in a rather unlikely place: South Korea.

From 1990 to 2020, South Korea’s immigrant population grew 3,896%. By 2022, foreigners in South Korea had risen to 2.2 million people. There are estimated to be another 2 million undocumented foreigners. Interestingly, many of them are Russian-speaking people from the Stans.

Unexpected Opportunity

Enter Jason and Sara. Serving faithfully with One Challenge since 1999, their work in the region has enabled them to make connections with local pastors and churches in South Korea. What they are witnessing now is an unexpected opportunity with great potential for building God’s Church and Kingdom in the Stans as new believers return to their homelands with the Good News. There are people from countries you could not enter as a mission worker.

Jason and Sara report that in one location in South Korea, more than 54% of the children in public school are Russian-speaking immigrants from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and other Stan countries, as well as Russia and Mongolia.

Unfortunately, few churches recognize this unprecedented chance to share Christ. Conversely, cults are actively recruiting immigrants, their children, and foreign students. The spiritual battle is intensifying.

Building Relationships

Jason and Sara have been mentoring, collaborating, and praying with mission workers who are engaged in ministry to immigrants in South Korea. One couple, for instance, provides after-school programs for the children of Russian-speaking families. They have also started a Russian-speaking church. Another Christian couple offers Korean-language tutoring and supports foreign university students. But more laborers are needed for this growing mission field.

Please join them in prayer, and support One Challenge’s mission to empower South Korean ministry for impact beyond their own borders.


By Christopher Lane, Contributor