Worship in Korean Christian Communities

The tapestry of Korean worship practices emerged in the context of other religious traditions, war and post-war growth, and a Korean consciousness of struggle and suffering.

The spread of Christianity in Korea is proverbial since the arrival of Jesuits in 1789 and Protestant missions in 1884. Today, thirty per cent of the nation’s population adheres to Christianity. The Protestant share (19%) is the largest among Asia states, while the Catholic share (11%) is the third largest. Less noted and understood, though, is the tapestry of Korean worship practices that emerged in the context of other religious traditions, war and post-war growth, and a Korean consciousness of struggle and suffering. These influences proffer a distinctive Korean-ness of Christian worship that relates closely to God’s liberating intervention for a people who perceive their need to move beyond oppression.

Presented at the 2014 Calvin Symposium on Worship

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