North Korea's Capital Could Get an Orthodox Church

North Korea's Communist leader Kim Jong-II has decided to construct an Orthodox church in Pyongyang, the Russian Itar-Tass agency reports.

The church in Pyongyang will be built following the model Kim saw during his visit last summer to Khabarovsk, in the Russian far east.

The church, whose frescos and icons will be painted by Russian artists, should be open for worship in a year's time, Itar-Tass said today.

Kim's regime has harshly persecution religion in recent years. In July-August 2001, during his first visit to Russia, Kim said that religion was not the main concern of the citizens of his country.

However, during his last trip to Russia, after visiting the priest of the church of Khabarovsk, Kim said during a private dinner in Vladivostok that "faithful of the Orthodox Church would soon be seen in the capital of North Korea."