April 12th, 2013
03:47 PM ET

Franklin Graham calls for prayer on North Korea

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – In light of threatening statements from North Korea, famed evangelist Franklin Graham says prayer is a viable option for cooling tensions between the communist country and the rest of the world.

“First of all, I think we need to pray,” Graham, the CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian humanitarian organization, said in an interview on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “We need to pray for our president, we need to pray that God will give him wisdom as he makes decision at this point. This is a very critical time, right now, for our country and we need to come behind our president and support him with prayer.”

Through Samaritan’s Purse, an organization founded in 1970, Graham has visited North Korea four times over the last 13 years. The group’s slogan is “Helping in Jesus Name” and it describes itself as a “Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.”

Tensions with North Korea began to rise last month, as the rogue state began issuing increasingly threatening statement towards its Asian neighbors and the United States. Most recently it was uncovered that North Korea may be able to deliver a nuclear weapon via missile with low reliability, according to the Pentagon.

The conflict has been headline news around the globe and captivated the attention of many Americans.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

According to a recent CNN poll, worries about the country’s nuclear capabilities are at an all-time high. According to the survey, 41% of Americans now characterize North Korea an immediate threat to the United States, an all-time high for that measure.

Graham called on “God’s wisdom” to help solve the decades-old conflict.

“For 60 years, we've had our armies there on the border and nothing has changed,” Graham said. “We need to find a way forward that would somehow bring peace to the peninsula. The North wants that, I believe, and the South wants that very much. But how we get there, we just need God to give wisdom.”

Graham is the son of Bill Graham, the famed evangelist with many political ties who has met with every president since Harry Truman.

On top of humanitarian work, Graham’s foundation has also worked to keep tabs on Christians in North Korea.

“We have tried to maintain a dialog, at least with the churches and the Christians in the country, because we want them to know that America isn't their enemy, we are their friend and we want peace,” Graham said in the interview. “But more importantly, this is an atheist country. I want them to know there is a God who loves them and cares for them, who sent a savior whose name is Jesus Christ, who came to Earth to die for their sins and we can be forgiven.”’

Over 70% of North Koreans are unaffiliated, according to a 2012 study on world religions by the Pew Form on Religion and Public Life. Christians make up 2% of the population, behind Folk Religions and Other Religions, according to the study.

To Graham, though, the same love that he hopes to extend to North Koreans also extends to the country’s leaders.

“We want the leadership in the North to know that God does love them,” Graham said. “And they need His help at this time, just like we need His help.”

This is not the first time Graham has suggested prayer for the president.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

After the 2012 election, in which Graham endorsed Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the evangelist asked congregations to pray for President Barack Obama.

“Having just come through a divisive national election, I am urging pastors across this country to lead their congregations in praying daily for our president, Barack Obama,” Graham said. “While politics is noticeably partisan, prayer must never be partisan. Americans need to come together, and people of faith should lead the way, by praying diligently for our leaders whether or not they agree with them or their policies.”

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • North Korea • Politics • Prayer

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Cielo


    April 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  2. Luke

    Glory be, Hallelujah. Frank, there’s a lot of dirty rotten sinners
    that need to be saved in N.K.. Kim goes first.

    April 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • rick

      wow, "dirty rotten sinner".....pretty scary.

      April 13, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  3. lol??

    Franklin Graham calls for prayer on North Korea and asks for a Mormon opening. High level socialists know how to appreciate more than one wife or girls on the side. That would keep em busy in the "training dept".

    April 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • ..

      High level morons still don't know what the term "socialist" means. Get your nose outta your ass and learn.

      April 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • lol??

      Group think, dialogue to a sensual consensus, double talk dialectic, and bully the individual who sayz not so fast, slim. The mediator facilitator zeroes in on a victim with the pressure and when he gives in, it's nirvana for the MOB in their quest for truth. That's only one of the ways the deception works.

      April 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  4. Men of wisdom...

    Thank you Rev. Graham for the call to prayer. We pray for the President and for God to be with him as he makes decisions.

    April 13, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • rick

      yep, a call to mass mental ma$turbation

      April 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 13, 2013 at 5:46 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      April 15, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Really?

      "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

      That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

      April 15, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Mike D

      Really?.... How ironic would/will it be that you, as an atheist, can genuinely enjoy your life here on earth (I think many Christians probably do as well)......but IF there is a Heaven and Hell, might enjoy the rest of eternity in a fiery pit. My question to you......is the juice worth the squeeze?

      April 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  6. Humanist11

    Franklin should just stay out of politics. Religion has no place there.

    April 13, 2013 at 4:49 am |
    • pothead


      April 15, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  7. faith

    i believe no more strung-out, has been, rock stars should be allowed to become religious fanatics until they agree to quit selling cds

    April 13, 2013 at 2:08 am |
  8. faith


    April 13, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • rick

      because you are a diseased gash, faith

      April 13, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  9. Peteyroo

    If prayer is so effective, why do little children die of cancer and other terrible illnesses? Does no one pray for them?

    April 13, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • faith

      u don't want them to go to heaven?

      April 13, 2013 at 2:03 am |
    • veritas

      Faith.....that is sick....

      April 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  10. Reality

    Frankie G. makes another appearance hoping people will donate to his and his father's "non-profits".

    Graham and his father should apologize for ripping off us and their organizations with their combined salaries of $1.2 million/yr.

    And they have the audacity to call themselves Christians !!!!!

    April 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • faith

      you mean like the big korn man?

      April 13, 2013 at 2:04 am |
    • ..

      Faith, no one gives a shit about the band Korn. You're on a belief Blog. Nobody knows who they even ARE here. Man, you're dim.

      April 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  11. highplainsparson

    I believe it's well past time for imprecatory prayers on North Korea's leadership. I've been praying for their destruction for years. This is the most cruel regime on Earth in its persecution of Christians.

    April 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
  12. Ken Margo

    The best thing that can happen to North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and other co'ckroach countries to to unleash chemical weapons on them and kill them off. In other words, a giant can of raid should do the trick. The world is tired of constant threats by these worthless people. No one would miss them.

    April 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  13. orion keiding

    before I saw the check four $7169, I didn't believe that my brother woz actually receiving money parttime at their computer.. there friends cousin had bean doing this 4 only thirteen months and recently paid for the morgage on their cottage and got a gorgeous Ford. I went here.......... ZOO80. ℂom

    April 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • .

      That's why you spam CNN with your garbage because the reality is you don't have a nickel.

      April 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • ElmerGantry

      Off topic and crass commercialism.

      April 14, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  14. EnjaySea

    "Franklin Graham calls for prayer on North Korea"

    Translation: Franklin Graham calls for more free press, to improve his cash flow.

    April 12, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Ken Margo


      April 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • pothead


      April 15, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  15. R.M Goodswell

    Because its worked so well in the past.

    there are people in prison because they trusted prayer to heal their sick child – If a God, even the most hands off God,was ever going to lift a finger..that would be the time. Instead you have a dead child ..and a true believer in prison.

    April 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • A Conversation

      What those people who relied exclusively on prayer missed (and what your missing) is that God's answers to prayers may not be exactly what we expected, and we have to be mindful of this so as not to miss the opportunity. To use your example...God gave us medicine–go us it (dummies). What if you prayed for financial relief–if your expectation is that a pot of money is going to land at your door, so you reject the job offer made to you, then you're probably praying for relief on your terms, not God's. And sometimes he meets us half way (hey, look, I parted the Red Sea for you, I'm not going to carry you too–get moving).

      April 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Research and science gave us medicine.....Not god... Your god, had his chance 3500 years ago....he could have given them mathematics, chemistry, farming techniques, biology, MEDICINE, Astronomy, Geography... these people were just as capable mentally...they could have handled it.....

      but instead he gave them Animal Sacrifice- and attending rules, rules for body mutilation, worried about other Gods, Idols ect. you know the kinds of things the rest of the non Christian world were worried about more or less...at that time. Your God was as dumb as snot.....hate to say it but there it is.

      prayers fail because there is nobody on the other end of the prayer phone. simple as that. God and his heaven isn't even a good fantasy...a very very bad nightmare.

      April 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • A Conversation

      If you so.

      April 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • A Conversation

      Wow, sent that without proofing...If you say so.

      April 12, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "God gave us medicine"

      Prove it.

      April 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      'What those people who relied exclusively on prayer missed (and what your missing) is that God's answers to prayers may not be exactly what we expected'

      Well isn't that convenient? Maybe they should have used the "God's plan" defense.

      April 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  16. derp

    Yes of course, we should pray to god to help us against and atheist Korean leader.


    Christards are amazingly dumb.

    April 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
  17. so who do the atheists support?
    April 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • hey Mr. Atheist

      Applying sound logic and reasoning, list the next steps to be taken.

      April 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • What kind of rot are you implying?

      April 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  18. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    What, did Kim Jong Un just give Franklin Graham a donation?

    April 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Oh My

      How creepy – that could be true . . .

      April 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      It's usually what happens before Franklin stands up to pray for a "cause".

      April 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Akira

      Especially fun was the evolved thought they went through when Romney was running for POTUS.

      April 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  19. Franklin Graham is


    April 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "Franklin Graham says prayer is a viable option for cooling tensions between the communist country and the rest of the world."

      Sure, that'll work.

      April 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  20. Murder Face

    Yeah? Well I call on Pissth all over North Koreassth....oh, sorry I have to take thith....hellooooo? No! Then what did you say? You didn't!

    April 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
1 2
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.