The Catholic Church in North Korea is not officially part of the worldwide Catholic Church or under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. It allegedly does not belong to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
The church is administered by the North Korean Catholic Association, created by the Communist government in June 1988 as a means of control over Catholic life. The remaining Catholic churches are inactive.
According to reports from within North Korea, courtesy of the KCA, there are approximately 3000 Catholics in the country. However, experts from other countries place the figure closer to 800. Christianity in North Korea is partly an underground movement, allegedly not receiving missionaries from southern China.
An invitation for the Korean Catholic Association to attend a Papal Mass in Seoul on 18 August 2014, during a 4-day visit to South Korea by Pope Francis, was declined by the association.