Church of the Life-Giving Trinity

Church of the Life-Giving Trinity

Exterior of the church
Church of the Life-Giving Trinity
38°58′55″N 125°44′45″E / 38.981836°N 125.745733°E / 38.981836; 125.745733Coordinates: 38°58′55″N 125°44′45″E / 38.981836°N 125.745733°E / 38.981836; 125.745733
Location Jongbaek-dong, Rangrang District, Pyongyang
Country North Korea
Denomination Eastern Orthodox
Dedication Holy Trinity
Dedicated 13 August 2006 (2006-08-13)
Relics held Sergius of Rakvere
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Groundbreaking 24 June 2003 (2003-06-24)
Parish Trinity Parish
Division Russian Orthodox Church
Rector Feodor Kim (Kim Hoe-il)
Deacon(s) John Ra (Ra Gwan-chol)

The Church of the Life-Giving Trinity is an Eastern Orthodox church in Jongbaek-dong, Rangrang District in Pyongyang, North Korea.[1] It is the first and only Orthodox church in the country, and one of only a handful of churches there overall.


Kim Jong-il reportedly wanted to construct an Eastern Orthodox church in North Korea after a trip to the Russian Far East in 2002.[2] Kim had visited the Church of St. Innocent Innokentiy of Irkutsk in Khabarovsk on 22 August and admired its architecture and Russian Orthodox rites.[3]

There were no Eastern Orthodox priests in the country, so the Orthodox Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea established in 2002[4] contacted the Russian Orthodox Church.[5]

The committee sent four students to the Moscow Ecclesiastical Seminary in April 2003.[3][1] The groundbreaking ceremony was held on 24 June 2003.[3] The church was dedicated on 13 August 2006 in the presence of Russian religious and political leaders.[6]


The church is presided over by rector Feodor Kim (Kim Hoe-il) and deacon John Ra (Ra Gwan-chol), graduates of the theological seminary in Moscow.[3]

The church has a parish of its own and is under the Russian Orthodox Church.[3]

The shrine is consecrated with a relic of Sergius of Rakvere. The church also has a Holy Trinity Icon.[7]

Very few locals attend.[8]

See also


  1. 1 2 Do Kyung-ok; Kim Soo-Am; Han Dong-ho; Lee Keum-Soon; Hong Min (24 September 2015). White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea 2015. Korea Institute for National Unification(South Korea). p. 221. ISBN 978-89-8479-802-1.
  2. Institute for Unification Education, Ministry of Unification (South Korea) (30 January 2015). Understanding North Korea: Totalitarian dictatorship, Highly centralized economies, Grand Socialist Family. 길잡이미디어. pp. 389–. GGKEY:Q35FXTAE44S.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Orthodox Church of the Live-Giving Trinity in Pyongyang". Embassy of Russia to the DPRK. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  4. "Pyongyang: Orthodox community subject to authority of Alexei II". Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  5. Burdick, Eddie (26 May 2010). Three Days in the Hermit Kingdom: An American Visits North Korea. Jefferson: McFarland. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-7864-5653-6.
  6. Hoare 2012, p. xlix.
  7. "The church of the Life-Giving Trinity consecrated in Pyongyang. The Russian Orthodox Church delegation on a visit to the KPDR". 14 August 2006. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  8. Hoare 2012, p. 323.

Works cited

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