One of South Korea’s most senior clergymen says he believes the Catholic Church in communist North Korea is growing, although Catholics live in hiding and endure persecution.
“In these last few hours, we have seen in Korea a good example of the culture of encounter,” Pope Francis said in his Sunday Angelus general address at the Vatican, which occurred a few hours local time after a meeting between Trump and Jong-un.
Talks between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea are “truly historic” and bring hope for the start of a new era of peace, said Pope Francis’ ambassador to Korea.
Church leaders seeking peace on the Korean Peninsula emphasized the need for “repentance and atonement” between North Korea and South Korea.
A diplomatic solution must be found to the escalating tension between North Korea and the United States, Pope Francis told journalists.
A French Catholic priest working with North Korean refugees in China said conditions have worsened for Christians under Kim Jong Un and urged the Chinese government to shelter fugitives from the communist-ruled country.
Open Doors, an interdenominational charity, said 2014 had “the highest level of global persecution of Christians in the modern era,” but added that current conditions suggested “the worst is yet to come.”