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Q & A: Christianity in DPRK

By Kim Son Hwi, People’s Korea, 20 July 1997

Here is some information on Christianity in the DPRK which is provided by two members of the Korean Christian Federation (KCF), Hwang Shi Chon and Kim Nam Hyok, director of the international department and deputy director of the organizational -department, respectively, of the Central Committee of the KCF.

Q: How large is the Christian population in the DPRK?

A: There are more than l0,000 Protestants and about 5,000 Catholics in oour country, ranging in age from 30 to 60. In north Korea, Protestantism is called Kiddokkyo and Catholicism Chonjugyo.

Q: How many churches do you have in the DPRK?

A: As far as we Protestants are concerned, we have two churches called Chilgol Church and Bong Su Church in Pyongyang and 500 other tabernacles in other areas.

Q: How do north Korean Christians celebrate their holy days such as Christmas and Easter?

A: Nothing is different from what other Protestants do in their countries. We minister the Holy Communion service and offer a prayer on holy days such as Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and Children's Day.

Q: Do you do missionary work actively in homes?

A: Yes. But we always conduct missionary activities in keeping with the actual situation of our country. Our missionary work is mainly focused on individuals such as by house-to-house visits. Some missionary associations are playing a leading role in our evangelical work including the Missionary Association of Korean Women.

Q: Where do people study theology?

A: People can study theology at Pyongyang Divinity School established in 1972. The school enrolls only ten students at a time in every three years, where they learn the Old Testament, the New Testament, pastoral theology, historical theology, a history of Christianity in Korea and other theological studies. A total of 35 graduates of the school took holy orders.

Q: Is it easy to get a Bible in north Korea?

A: Of course. In our country, freedom of worship is guaranteed under the Constitution. More than 50,000 copies of the Bible have been printed in our country, translated into Korean by members of our federation.

Q: What is the main work of the Korean Christian Federation?

A: The most important task of the federation is to lead Korean Christians to work for the construction and reunification of our country. In order to promote the reunification, we maintain close relations with many organizations including the World Council of Churches and Christian associations in foreign countries to ensure their support for the peaceful reunification of the Korea Peninsula. As the solidarity of the whole nation is the only way to realize a lasting peace in our country, Christians in north and south Korea and overseas should be united first.