NKorea agrees ‘regular’ visits by South’s Catholic priests

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SEOUL: South Korea’s Catholic Church said Monday it had reached agreement with North Korea to send priests there on “a regular basis,” seeking an opening in a country with a long history of tight religious control. The agreement, which should see priests leading services in Pyongyang on major holy days from next year, followed a visit to the North Korean capital by South Korean bishops last week. Pyongyang’s state-run Korean Catholic Association (KCA) has no ties with the Vatican and is often referred to as the “Church of Silence” by Catholics in the South. Although religious freedom is enshrined in the North’s constitution, all religious activity is subject to extremely tight restrictions and completely banned outside of state-sanctioned institutions.

AFP

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