Young Pioneer Tours

Religion in North Korea

When it comes to religion in North Korea and the DPRK and its relationship with religion there are a lot of misconceptions. North Korea is officially an atheist state, much like many communist countries before it, BUT unlike Albania for example it has never banned religion.

Much like China though being a member of a religious order bans you from being a member of the Workers Party of Korea, although not all people parties, which we will get to later.

What is the main religion in North Korea?

We could therefore say that the main religion in North Korea is atheism, although that is not an actual religion. The main practiced religions in North Korea from a traditional sense are Buddhism, Christianity and Chondoism the later of which has its own political party, which we will get to later.

Religion in North Korea – Christianity 

Much like in China religious organisations are not independent of the government and are required to be patriotic organisations. They are therefore run by government agencies. 

The Christian organisation in North Korea is called the Korean Christian Federation, which you can read about here.

Christianity in North Korea is very much misunderstood, Kim Il-Sung famously went to church and his mother was religious. Even now it is possible to go to Church in North Korea as a tourists.

Religion in North Korea

You can read the article I did on religion for NK News here

 Buddhism in North Korea

Buddhism is another religion that has a rich history in Korea and thus the DPRK. There are a number of Buddhist temples and monks, and it is not unheard of for there to be exchanges between buddhists from the north and south.

Religion in North Korea
IFE near a major Buddhist Temple

Again though and like Christianity it is governed by a patriotic association, namely the Korea Buddhist Federation who you can read about here.


Chondism is partly seen as a national religion of North Korea from where it has its roots. Literally translated heavenly way it is mixture between Christian and Confucianism to a large extent.

To read a detailed report on what Chondoism is click here.

In fact the religion is to an extent so important that there is even a political party represented in the North Korean parliament that make up part of the antional front of the country.

To read about the political parties in North Korea click here.

And that is the skinny on religion in North Korea, it may not be popular, but it more than certainly exists.