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Have mercy on North Korea

SEOUL (CNS): To mark the 70th anniversary of the division of the Korean Peninsula into north and south, and the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the archdiocese of Seoul launched a prayer movement entitled, North Korean Church in my Heart, on November 24.

The archbishop of Seoul, Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, who is also the apostolic administrator of Pyongyang archdiocese to the north of the divide, said the people in the north have always been in my prayers.

Before celebrating a Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral, the cardinal said, “Pope Francis has announced the Jubilee of Mercy; I believe the Korean Peninsula is one of the regions that needs most the mercy of God. I invite everyone to join me in this prayer movement, to bear in mind the Catholic Church of North Korea and to show our love and concern with continuous prayer.”

After the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945, there were 57 parishes and about 5,200 Catholics in North Korea. After the Korean War, however, the Church in the north faced persecution by the government.

Only a few hidden Catholics are believed to be in North Korea now.

The archdiocese of Seoul said in a statement that the North Korean Church in my Heart initiative invites one and all to pray for the faithful remnant of Catholics still surviving in the hermit state.


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