Catholic Church in North Korea

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The Catholic Church in North Korea is not officially part of the worldwide Catholic Church or under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. It allegedly does not belong to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

The church is administered by the Korean Catholic Association (KCA), created by the Communist government in June 1988 as a means of control over Catholic life. The remaining Catholic churches are inactive.[1][2]

According to reports from within North Korea, courtesy of the KCA, there are approximately 3000 Catholics in the country. However, experts from other countries place the figure closer to 800. Christianity in North Korea is partly an underground movement, allegedly not receiving missionaries from southern China.[citation needed]

An invitation for the KCA to attend a Papal Mass in Seoul on 18 August 2014, during a 4-day visit to South Korea by Pope Francis, was declined by the association.[3]

Dioceses and archdioceses[edit]


Cathedrals in North Korea[edit]


  • Changchung Cathedral in Pyongyang, North Korea (Roman Catholic Diocese of Pyong-yang 평양)
  • Tokwon Abbey of St. Benedict in Tokwon 덕원, North Korea (Roman Catholic Territorial Abbacy of Tŏkwon 덕원)


  1. ^ Voice of America English News: Despite Tremendous Odds, Religion Survives in North Korea
  2. ^ National Catholic Reporter: Catholicism in North Korea survives in catacombs
  3. ^ "North Korea rejects offer to attend mass given by Pope Francis in Seoul". The Guardian. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Catholic Dioceses in North Korea
  5. ^ Catholic-Hierarchy: Current Dioceses in North Korea
  6. ^ Cathedrals in North Korea

See also[edit]