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Does South Korea have Muslims?


South Korea is known for its rich cultural heritage, ancient Buddhist temples, and modern technology. However, when it comes to religion, South Korea is predominantly a Confucianist and Christian country. The question that arises here is whether South Korea has Muslims or not. In this article, we will explore the presence of Muslims in South Korea.

The history of Islam in South Korea

Islam made its way to Korea during the Silla dynasty, which ruled from 668 to 935 CE. However, it was not until the early 1900s that the first Muslim community was established in South Korea. It was a small group of Muslim students who had come to study in Seoul.

Muslim population in South Korea

Today, the Muslim population in South Korea is estimated to be around 200,000. This number includes both Korean converts and foreign-born Muslims who have settled in South Korea for various reasons.

Muslim community in South Korea

The Muslim community in South Korea is diverse, with members from different nationalities, ethnicities, and backgrounds. The majority of Muslims in South Korea are from Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The community also includes Korean converts who have embraced Islam.

Mosques in South Korea

There are over 40 mosques in South Korea. The largest mosque in South Korea is the Seoul Central Mosque, which was built in 1976. It can accommodate up to 1,000 worshipers at a time.

Halal food in South Korea

South Korea has been taking steps to cater to the needs of its Muslim population by providing halal food options in supermarkets and restaurants. In addition to that, there are also halal-certified restaurants that serve traditional Korean cuisine.

Muslim-friendly tourism in South Korea

South Korea has also been working to promote itself as a Muslim-friendly tourist destination. The country has been providing prayer rooms in airports, shopping malls, and other public places. It has also been providing information about halal food options and places of worship.

Muslim festivals in South Korea

Muslims in South Korea celebrate various Islamic festivals such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The Seoul Central Mosque is the center for these celebrations, where Muslims gather to pray and participate in festivities.

Challenges faced by Muslims in South Korea

Despite the efforts made by the government and the Muslim community, Muslims in South Korea still face some challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of understanding and awareness about Islam among the general public.

Relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in South Korea

Overall, relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in South Korea are peaceful. However, there have been some instances of discrimination against Muslims, particularly after the 9/11 attacks.

The future of Islam in South Korea

The future of Islam in South Korea looks promising. With the increasing number of Muslim students coming to study in South Korea and the efforts being made to cater to the needs of the Muslim population, it is likely that the Muslim community in South Korea will continue to grow.


In conclusion, while South Korea is predominantly a Confucianist and Christian country, it does have a significant Muslim population. The Muslim community in South Korea is diverse and has been growing steadily over the years. The government and the Muslim community have been working together to provide halal food options, places of worship, and other facilities to cater to the needs of the Muslim population. With these efforts, it is likely that Islam will continue to flourish in South Korea in the years to come.

What is the main religion in South Korea?

Although many people do not have a religious affiliation, Protestants are the largest religious group. Within the religious population, 18% believe in Protestantism, 16% believe in Buddhism, 13% believe in Catholicism, and 1% follow other religions or cults.

What is the percentage of Muslims in South Korea?

In South Korea, where Christianity and Confucianism are dominant, Muslims make up a very small fraction of the population, accounting for only 0.4%.

What religions are allowed in Korea?

In South Korea, there is peaceful coexistence among the major religions of the world, including Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Islam, along with shamanism.

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The major elements of the Japanese religious tradition include Shinto, the earliest religion in Japan, Buddhism, and Confucianism, with Christianity having only a small following in Japan.

Where do most Muslims live in Korea?

The Muslim community is mainly located in Seoul and there are only a handful of mosques scattered throughout the rest of the country. The Korea Muslim Federation estimates that there are approximately 200,000 Muslims residing in South Korea, with the majority being foreigners, constituting 70-80% of the total population. Seoul is home to the largest concentration of Muslims, accounting for 40% of the country’s total Muslim population.

Despite the challenges faced by Muslims in South Korea, there have been efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding. The Korea Muslim Federation, for example, has been organizing events and seminars to educate non-Muslims about Islam and to foster mutual respect and understanding between different religions.

In addition, there are also Korean Muslims who have been making efforts to bridge the gap between their religion and Korean culture. They have been promoting a Korean-Islamic identity that combines elements of both cultures, such as combining traditional Korean clothing with Islamic dress.

Overall, the presence of Islam in South Korea is a testament to the country’s diversity and openness to different cultures and religions. While there are challenges that need to be addressed, the future looks bright for the Muslim community in South Korea.

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