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ICC Note

The government in North Korea continues to restrict religion, and persecutes those who worship without “permission”.

North Korea to Wait Longer for First Foreign Church

The Korea Times

Seoul

The construction of North Korea ‘s first foreigners-only church has been delayed for more than a year, a South Korean pastor working for the project said on Saturday.

In an interview with the Radio Free Asia, a U.S.-sponsored radio network, Pastor Lee Sung-woo from a missionary group leading the project said that “We received permission from the North Korean authorities in 2004 for the construction of the church in Pyongyang .”

Named the Pyongyang International Harvest Church , the envisioned church has drawn keen attention, as it would become the third official church in North Korea following the Pongsu Church built in 1988 and Chilgol Church built in 1999.

“A South Korean construction company already submitted a design for the church to the authorities,” he added. “The building of the church should be completed this year under the plan.”

But the construction work has been suspended for over a year, as North Korea has requested renovation of Chilgol Church located in Pyongyang instead of building a new church.

“We turned down the offer,” Lee said. “We still plan to build a brand-new church there.”

Funded by an ethnic Korean in the United States and missionary groups in South Korea , the construction of the four-story building is aimed at running a school for foreign students as well as providing Mass services to believers.