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Which religion is growing in South Korea?


South Korea is a country that has undergone a significant transformation in the past few decades. It has quickly emerged as one of the most technologically advanced nations and has also witnessed a growth in its religious landscape. While South Korea is known for its Buddhist and Confucian heritage, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Christians, Muslims, and other minority religions in the country. This article aims to explore which religion is growing in South Korea and why.

The Growth of Christianity

Christianity has been growing rapidly in South Korea since the late 19th century when it was introduced by missionaries. Today, Christianity is the largest religion in South Korea with over 20% of the population identifying as Christian. The Korean Christian community is diverse, ranging from conservative Presbyterian and Methodist denominations to more charismatic Pentecostal groups.

The Emergence of Islam

Islam is another religion that has been growing in South Korea in recent years. The Muslim community in South Korea is small but growing steadily, with an estimated 100,000 Muslims living in the country. The majority of Muslims in South Korea are foreign-born, with most coming from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

The Rise of Buddhism

Buddhism has been a part of South Korean culture for centuries, but it has seen a resurgence in recent years. This is partly due to the popularity of mindfulness practices and meditation, which are often associated with Buddhism. Many young Koreans are turning to Buddhism as a way to cope with stress and find inner peace.

The Influence of Confucianism

Confucianism has played a significant role in shaping Korean culture and society for centuries. While it is not considered a religion per se, Confucianism has influenced many aspects of Korean life, including education, family structure, and social norms. Confucian values continue to be an important part of Korean society, although they are often challenged by more modern and Westernized ideas.

The Significance of Shamanism

Shamanism is a traditional Korean religion that has been practiced for thousands of years. While it has declined in popularity in recent years, some Koreans still practice shamanism and believe in its power to heal and protect. Shamanism is often associated with the countryside and rural areas of Korea.

The Growth of New Religious Movements

In addition to established religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism, South Korea has also seen the rise of new religious movements in recent years. These groups often incorporate elements of traditional Korean culture and offer a sense of community to those who feel disconnected from mainstream society.

The Role of Education

Education plays a significant role in shaping religious beliefs in South Korea. Many Koreans are exposed to different religions through their schooling, and this can influence their religious views later in life. Private Christian schools have become increasingly popular in recent years, leading to concerns about the influence of Christianity on young people.

The Impact of Globalization

Globalization has had a significant impact on South Korea’s religious landscape. The country has become more connected to the rest of the world, making it easier for people to learn about different religions and adopt new beliefs. This has led to a growing diversity of religious beliefs in South Korea.

The Political Context

Religion has played a role in South Korean politics throughout the country’s history. In recent years, there has been debate over the role of religion in public life, particularly with regards to issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. Some religious groups have become more politically active, while others have been criticized for being too conservative.

The Future of Religion in South Korea

The religious landscape of South Korea is constantly evolving, and it is difficult to predict what the future holds. While Christianity and Buddhism are likely to remain popular, it is possible that other religions, such as Islam or new religious movements, could continue to grow. The influence of globalization and changing social norms will undoubtedly play a role in shaping the future of religion in South Korea.


In conclusion, the religious landscape of South Korea is diverse and constantly evolving. While Buddhism and Confucianism have been traditional religions in the country, Christianity has experienced significant growth in recent years. Islam, shamanism, and new religious movements have also emerged as important parts of Korean society. The future of religion in South Korea will be shaped by a range of factors, including globalization, education, and politics.

Which religion is more in South Korea?

Although a large portion of the population is not religious, Protestants still make up the largest religious group. Within the religious population, 18% adhere to Protestantism, 16% to Buddhism, 13% to Catholicism, and 1% to other religions or cults.

Who is fastest growing religion in the world?

Research conducted in the 21st century indicates that Islam is the major world religion with the highest rate of growth and the widest global reach.

What is the fastest growing religion in North Korea?

The North Korean government only supports Chondoism as their official religion.

What is the fastest growing religion in Turkey?

The majority of people in this country follow Islam, which has the largest community of followers here. About 90% of Muslims follow the Sunni branch of Islam, with a preference for the Hanafi fiqh.

What are South Korea’s top 3 religions?

The Constitution of Korea guarantees freedom of religion, and according to a social statistics survey from 1995, around 50.7% of Koreans practice a specific religion. The majority of the religious population in Korea are Buddhists at 46%, followed by Protestants at 39%, and Catholics at 13%.

Why is Christianity big in Korea?

The acceptance of Christianity in Korea was largely influenced by the association many Christians had with the nationalistic movement during the Japanese occupation from 1910-1945. This time period was marked by Japan’s efforts to assimilate Korean culture, and the Christian cause aligned with the resistance against this cultural assimilation.

One factor that may impact the future of religion in South Korea is the country’s aging population. As more and more Koreans enter their elderly years, there may be a shift in religious beliefs and practices. Older Koreans tend to be more traditional and conservative, which could lead to a resurgence of Confucianism and other traditional religions.

Another factor to consider is the influence of technology on religion. South Korea is known for its advanced technology, and it is possible that new technological developments could impact the way people practice and engage with religion. For example, virtual reality could be used to create immersive religious experiences, or social media could be used to connect people with like-minded believers.

The role of gender in religion is also an important consideration. While women have traditionally played a secondary role in many Korean religions, there has been a growing movement towards gender equality in recent years. This could lead to changes in religious practices and beliefs, as women become more involved in leadership roles within their religious communities.

Finally, it is worth noting that South Korea’s religious landscape is shaped by its history and culture. The country has a complex relationship with religion, with periods of persecution and suppression followed by periods of growth and acceptance. Understanding this history is key to understanding the current state of religion in South Korea, as well as its future trajectory.

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