Korea fact of the day

by on December 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm in Books, Religion | Permalink

Korea is now the world’s second-largest exporter of missionaries after the United States.

That is from Daniel Tudor, Korea: The Impossible Country, which is quite a good overview of the place.

1 Ray Lopez December 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Missionaries–I assume Christian. Christian missionaries made inroads in southeast Asia. I’ve seen Baptists in Korea, Catholics of course in the Philippines but other Christian sects too, and IMO the strangest of all are Protestants in northern Thailand, Laos, Burma and Cambodia.

2 Hazel Meade December 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

Sun Yeung Moon’s Unification Church, probably.

3 axa December 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Bulk quantity or percentage of population? It could be really interesting since Korea population is like 1/4 of US.

4 david December 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm

American evangelical churches are much better at evangelism toward the new urban, wealthy classes than anything the local religions are capable of competing with; they even outpace older colonial-era churches in former Western colonies. It’s not just Korea, although of course Korea has unusually many due to its history.

They don’t react well to state suppression though; they are neither pacifist nor militant enough.

5 affenkopf December 4, 2012 at 1:31 am
6 david December 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

But the Korean state isn’t suppressing them. American-influenced churches are used to behaving aggressively from a position of comfortably protected dominance, hence the casual attitude toward actions which would spark violence responses in many other societies.

7 sunbomb December 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm

“American-influenced churches are used to behaving aggressively from a position of comfortably protected dominance”

Is that your opinion or an actual fact? And what exactly is an ‘American-influenced church’?

8 dcdrone December 4, 2012 at 2:09 am

Ok -revising previous synthesis – apparently Mormons *and* Koreans will inherit the earth!

9 prior@approval.com December 4, 2012 at 4:16 am

While the number of Hindus born every year dwarfs those two groups together. Even a 2500 year old offshoot of Hinduism seems to be able to maintain itself in Korea by doing little more, apparently, than just sitting around (considering that more Koreans are Buddhists than Protestant Christians, though after adding in the Catholic Koreans, the number of Korean Christians is higher – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Korea) .

Though the number of ‘non-religious’ is even greater as a percentage at 16% of ‘believers’ than Hindus at 14%. – http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

Somehow, regardless of what one thinks of the meek, I don’t see the Mormon or Korean missionaries inheriting the world any time soon.

10 sunbomb December 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Based on a lifetime of exposure to Hindus, it appears to me that Hinduism is a cultural and traditional way of living, not necessarily a belief for many so-called Hindus. The overwhelming majority of my male Hindu friends are atheists, but they love the trappings of a Hindu life. Can’t speak too much about the actual beliefs of the Hindu women.

11 Rahul December 4, 2012 at 8:07 am

Does this export contribute to their GDP /. Trade-balance, I wonder?

12 freethinker December 4, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Sunbomb is right. Hinduism does not have a pontiff or a mullah to tell Hindus what to do and not to do, and issue a fatwa to kill those who disobey. Hinduism also does not have a creed . The members of a few Hindu fanatical groups are driven not by faith in “Hinduism” but by hatred towards Muslims and Christians, mostly the former. These Hindu fascists also derive pleasure beating up couples celebrating valentine’s day and attacking women in pubs in the name of protecting Indian culture. What binds Hindus is caste: a Hindu can tolerate a person being an atheist but not marrying outside the caste.
Most Hindus say that all religions lead to the same goal. Christian and Muslim preachers appear very narrow minded when they tell people that their religion is the only true one.

13 Daniel Tudor December 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

Hello! Thanks for the mention. I’m honoured.
All the best,

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