Skip to comments.N. Korea Russian Orthodox Church opens
Posted on 08/13/2006 1:05:29 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea's first ever Russian Orthodox church conducted its inaugural mass Sunday, the North's official news agency said, although there was no sign the hardline communist regime has eased its tight controls on religion.
Vice Premier Kwak Pom Gi and other government officials attended the service at the Trinity Church in Pyongyang, the Korean Central News Agency reported.
The North Korean government will "successfully manage and operate the church," said Ho Il Jin, the chairman of the Korean Orthodox Church Committee, KCNA reported. He did not elaborate, but added the inauguration of the church will boost relations between North Korea and Russia.
In theory, North Koreans enjoy the freedom of religion, according to their constitution.
But in practice that right is severely restricted. Last year, the U.S. State Department pinpointed North Korea as one of a number of nations whose citizens cannot freely practice their religions, and North Koreans defectors to the South have said some are persecuted for their beliefs.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church's foreign relations, Metropolitan Kirill, who also attended mass Sunday, nevertheless praised North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il for his "initiative and deep care" in building the church on the bank of the Taedong River.
advertising North Korea's late founder Kim Il Sung and his son, Kim Jong Il, are revered as demigods and enjoy a massive personality cult.
In addition to the new Russian Orthodox church, Pyongyang has also one Catholic and two Protestant churches, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Christians? Oops! There goes the Communist neighborhood!
Russian Orthodox in North Korea. I thought commies hated religion, particularly Christianity.
They do. Only four churches in North Korea, according to the article.
One big Potemkin Village.
Meanwhile, some 2-300 miles up the road from Pyongyang near the Chinese border, real N.K. Christians--those caught praying or otherwise refusing to renounce Jesus Christ--are being force-fed human feces, or given electric shocks, made to carry heavy coal until they pass out and are beaten to death by prison guards, or are put out in the sun chained to a stake, without food or water to whither to death over several days.
AmericaninTokyo has it right. Foreigners who visit those show churches are dupes, and that includes Billy Gragham, who delivered a sermon there on the theme that Christians should support the government: "render under Ceasar." Trouble is, Caesar was a devote humanitarian compared with the Kims.
The same remarks apply to the Buddhist tourist sites. Japanese tourists report that the "monks" (all weraring Kim Jung Il buttons) seem to know little about Buddhism, and get the statues and ritual all wrong.
To put it bluntly, the regime has liquidated all real religious influence in North Korea. That is even though Kim Il Sung's mother was a Christian. He made her instead a "revolutionary,:" who went to church just to get a rest from her hard labor. The trouble with his storyis that her church was far off, and she made a point of making the trip. Kim defames the devotion of his own mother, and murdered her cobelievers: so much for filial piety.
Those churches in North Korea are just for show only.
Yes, indeed. That is what I said.
Obviously an attempt to cozy up to the Russians for some kind of assistance.
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