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Why South Korea is so distinctively Christian
The Economist ^ | 08/21/2014

Posted on 08/21/2014 12:10:32 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

SOUTH KOREA, a dynamo of growth, is also afire with faith. This week Pope Francis will spend five days there, for Asian Youth Day and to beatify 124 early martyrs. About 5.4m of South Korea’s 50m people are Roman Catholics. Perhaps 9m more are Protestants, of many stripes.

Yoido Full Gospel Church’s 1m members form the largest Pentecostal congregation on Earth. Belief’s farther shores include the Unification Church, soon to mark the anniversary of its founder Sun-myung Moon’s "ascension".

The late Yoo Byung-eun, the shifty and versatile tycoon behind the ferry Sewol which sank in April, killing 304 mostly teenage passengers, had also founded his own sect (and the website God.com, now in other hands); its followers hid him during Korea’s largest-ever police man-hunt.

All this is particularly striking, because Asia is mostly stony ground for Christianity. Spanish rule left the Philippines strongly Catholic, but Korea is less simple.

In the 18th century curious intellectuals encountered Catholicism in Beijing and smuggled it home. Confucian monarchs, brooking no rival allegiance, executed most early converts: hence all those martyrs, ranking Korea fourth globally for quantity of saints. Protestantism came later and fared better. By the 1880s Korea was opening up, and the mainly American missionaries made two astute moves: opening the first modern schools, which admitted girls; and translating the Bible into the vernacular Hangul Korean alphabet, then viewed as infra dig, rather than the Chinese characters favoured by literati.

The seeds thus sown incubated under Japan’s rule (1910-45), and have sprouted wildly since. The trauma of Japanese conquest eroded faith in Confucian or Buddhist traditions: Koreans could relate to Israel’s sufferings in the Old Testament (no Chosen jokes, please). Yet by 1945 only 2% of Koreans were Christian.

(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...


TOPICS: Current Events; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: asia; christendom; christianity; southkorea

1 posted on 08/21/2014 12:10:33 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

They have a stone monument on the beach where the first Christian missionaries came ashore. Still a lot of Buddhists there.


2 posted on 08/21/2014 12:13:28 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: SeekAndFind
SOUTH KOREA ALMOST 10 YEARS AGO...

3 posted on 08/21/2014 12:13:32 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: driftdiver

4 posted on 08/21/2014 12:14:33 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: SeekAndFind

For shame, you have provided the Obama-like North Korean midget the clue for destroying South Korea.

Just convert South Korea to Islam. They’ll then have 1/4 the productivity of North Korea, coupled with a civil system that will reduce their productivity to that of the West Bank.


5 posted on 08/21/2014 12:15:06 PM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: driftdiver

6 posted on 08/21/2014 12:15:11 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: SeekAndFind

7 posted on 08/21/2014 12:16:58 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (If at first you don't succeed, put it out for beta test.)
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To: SeekAndFind

God is good, people are crazy...


8 posted on 08/21/2014 12:17:06 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously-you won't live through it anyway-Enjoy Yourself ala Louis Prima)
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To: SeekAndFind; KC_Lion

I can’t help it...

The Choson People


9 posted on 08/21/2014 12:18:46 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: SeekAndFind
Some countries that appear to be embracing Christianity and strengthening the family unit are also prospering economically like they have not seen in recent history.

By contract, other countries who have turned their collective backs on God and abhor Biblical principles appear to be on a one-way trip into the abyss. Culturally as well as economically.

10 posted on 08/21/2014 12:20:01 PM PDT by Paulie (Get off the grid.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I lived there for 3 years. They have Buddhist temples which are more than 2000 years old. You see references to Buddhism all over the place and they consider it a major part of their history.

The Christians tend to be a lot more dedicated than those in the US.


11 posted on 08/21/2014 12:27:41 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Paulie
And the South Koreans have an amazingly strong work ethic that promotes prosperity and independence, something currently out of favor with the current US administration.
12 posted on 08/21/2014 12:28:46 PM PDT by Nevadan
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To: GeronL
can’t help it... The Choson People 9 posted on ‎8‎/‎21‎/‎2014‎ ‎3‎:‎18‎:‎46‎ ‎PM by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans) [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies | Report Abuse] lol...good one.. yep they have a RESERVOIR of faith. There I could help it back at ya :)
13 posted on 08/21/2014 12:36:59 PM PDT by BubbaJunebug
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To: BubbaJunebug

lol

the post was bungled but it’s a good reply

Have Seoul, Let’s ROK


14 posted on 08/21/2014 12:42:49 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Nevadan

Very good possibility that the next generation of South Koreans are going to be spoiled, rotten brats. lol


15 posted on 08/21/2014 12:43:57 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: SeekAndFind

According to the CIA Factbook Protestants in South Korea number about 12 million or 24 percent of the population. Roman Catholics number about 3.8 million or 7.6 percent of the population. Buddhists constitute 24.2 percent and NO religion numbers are roughly 21,750,000 or 43.3 percent.


16 posted on 08/21/2014 12:48:16 PM PDT by miele man
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To: Da Coyote

I see news stories occasionally pop up of South Korean missionaries to Arab nations.

Korean Hostage was Killed for Refusing to Convert to Islam
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/pastor.korean.hostage.was.killed.for.refusing.to.convert.to.islam/12843.htm

Kim Sun-il (September 13, 1970 – c. June 22, 2004) was a South Korean translator and Christian missionary who was kidnapped and executed in Iraq.

They may actually be the best outreach to the 10-40 band, because it isn’t evil white imperialists but a closer ethnicity.


17 posted on 08/21/2014 12:57:25 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: SeekAndFind

18 posted on 08/21/2014 1:04:17 PM PDT by Reaganez
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To: SeekAndFind

This sure illustrates the importance of Missionary work.


19 posted on 08/21/2014 3:24:04 PM PDT by ansel12 (LEGAL immigrants, 30 million 1980-2012, continues to remake the nation's electorate for democrats)
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To: GeronL; BCW; Army Air Corps; vladimir998; Mr. Jeeves; GraceG
Just take a look at Park Bom's You and I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLLlXJ6jUzc

It is set atChristmas Time.

20 posted on 08/21/2014 7:17:12 PM PDT by KC_Lion (Build the America you want to live in at your address, and keep looking up.- Sarah Palin)
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To: KC_Lion

bump

it is a great video that I have seen several times


21 posted on 08/21/2014 8:08:20 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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