Changchung Cathedral

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Changchung Cathedral
Jangchung Catholic Church (15524500676).jpg
Exterior of Changchung Cathedral
AffiliationNorth Korean Catholic
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusCathedral
LeadershipKorean Catholic Association
StatusNo bishop
LocationChangchung, Songyo-guyok, Pyongyang, North Korea
Changchung Cathedral is located in Pyongyang
Changchung Cathedral
Location in Pyongyang
Geographic coordinates39°00′25″N 125°46′40″E / 39.00694°N 125.77778°E / 39.00694; 125.77778Coordinates: 39°00′25″N 125°46′40″E / 39.00694°N 125.77778°E / 39.00694; 125.77778
Completed1988 (1988)
Changchung Cathedral
Revised RomanizationJangchung-seongdang
Interior of the Changchung Cathedral

Changchung Cathedral is the nominal cathedral of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Pyongyang, North Korea, located in the Changchung neighborhood of Songyo-guyok, Pyongyang. It is one of only four official Christian places of worship in Pyongyang. It operates under the Korean Catholic Association.[1]


Before the division of Korea, Pyongyang was the city with the highest number of Christian believers in Korea, and was known as the "Korean Jerusalem".[2] By 1945, nearly 1/6 of its citizens were Christians. Therefore, Pyongyang was made into the only diocese in northern Korea.

After the division of Korea, however, the Communist government under Kim Il-sung persecuted Christians as imperialist collaborators and spies; even the famous Christian Nationalist Cho Man-sik, initially more influential than Kim, was arrested and shot. Much of the Catholic community was either killed or imprisoned, and many more fled south.

The original cathedral, built of red brick in the late 19th century, was destroyed in the Korean War by American forces. Earlier, in 1949, the last formal Bishop of Pyongyang, Francis Hong Yong-ho, had been imprisoned by the communist government; he later disappeared.

In 1988 a new cathedral was opened in East Pyongyang. At the same time, two nondenominational "protestant" churches were opened in an effort by the government to show religious freedom.[3]


The cathedral is operated by the Korean Catholic Association and is not affiliated with the Holy See.[1][4] Because of the strained relations with the Holy See, the cathedral currently has no bishop or even an ordained priest.[3][2] There is no resident priest either. Masses are held in the presence of foreign clergy.[1]

There is a noodle factory associated with the church that receives financial support from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seoul and Catholic Koreans in the United States.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Justin Corfield (2014). Historical Dictionary of Pyongyang. Anthem Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-78308-341-1.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Zwirko, Colin (9 October 2018). "Kim Jong Un says Pope welcome to visit Pyongyang: Blue House". NK News. Retrieved 9 October 2018.

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