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Cardinal launches prayer movement for Church in North Korea

Pictures of North Korean parishes displayed inside Myongdong Cathedral in Seoul (CNS photo/courtesy Archdiocese of Seoul)

To mark the 70th anniversary of the division of Korea and the Year of Mercy, the Archdiocese of Seoul has launched a prayer movement called “North Korean Church in My Heart.”

Seoul Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, who serves as apostolic administrator of Pyongyang, North Korea, said the people there “have always been in my prayers.”

Before a Mass at Myongdong Cathedral on November 24, the cardinal said: “Pope Francis has announced the Jubilee of Mercy; I believe the Korean Peninsula is one of the regions that need 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 prayers,” he said ahead of the opening Mass for the movement.

After the liberation of Korea, there were 57 parishes and about 5,200 Catholics in North Korea.

After the Korean War, however, the Catholic Church of North Korea underwent persecutions by the government. Only a few hidden Catholics are believed to be in North Korea now.

The archdiocese said “North Korean Church in My Heart ” is open to anyone who wants to pray for the North Korean Church.