[imText1]The construction of the first church for exclusively foreigners and with state permission, “Harvest Church” has been pending.
Park Min Hee, director of “Nation Loving Christian Missions Alliance” said in his interview with the Radio Free Asia on July 2 that “recently the government of North Korea requested renovation of Chilgol Church located in Pyongyang instead of building a new church, so there has been a delay on the construction.”
Pyongyang International Harvest Church is under construction with the support of missionary groups such as the Campus Crusade for Christ and the Love Network for Korea in Los Angeles. They obtained permission of building a church exclusively for foreigners last fall and the construction was underway.
Harvest Church is to be the third official church in North Korea following the Bongsu Church built in 1988 and Chilgol Church built in 1999, and the first church for exclusively foreigners.
Director Park said, “The construction that had been carried out smoothly until now is being delayed by the new request of the North Korean government to renovate (expand) Chilgol Church and to use it instead of building a new church.”
“It is important for us to build another church in North Korea, so we will be demanding for the building of third church following Chilgol Church,” said Mr. Park. He added “For a better financial assistance we would like to seek help of the churches in South Korea, but North Korean would not like that.”
According to the plan, with the help of NOVA, an American information technology company, a four-story building that could hold 1000 people with lodging facilities is to be constructed. The church will also run a school for foreign students.
Director Park said, “We were going to build a separate school for the citizens of Pyongyang, but the government of North Korea furiously opposed it, but they granted permission to build a school for foreigners.”
The school will hold English and computer courses and other various classes.