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An Exploration of Protestant Conservatism in South Korea - Essay Example

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Introduction Religious organizations play a critical role in shaping the social and political environment of a particular society. In Korean society, Christianity, which comprises of Catholic and Protestant denominations, is one of the most influential religions…
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An Exploration of Protestant Conservatism in South Korea
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"An Exploration of Protestant Conservatism in South Korea"

Download file to see previous pages The second article is “Sibling Rivalry in Twentieth Century Korea: Comparative Growth Rates of Catholics and Protestants” written by Donald Baker. The first article examines the growth of North Korean protestant church in South Korea with emphasis on Presbyterian denomination. In the article, the author Kang In- Cheol (157-190) accessed the influence of the protestant denomination and people that immigrated into South Korean republic on the prominent social political conservatism culture that has consistently defined the country from 1950s to date. South Korea has undergone profound political and social changes from 1950 that played a critical part in determining the role of the protestant church in the country. According to Kang In- Cheol (159), the major historical period that defined the protestant church influence on the country’s social political landscape was eight-year duration between liberation and the conclusion of the Korean War. During this period, South Korea recorded unprecedented immigrants from the North Korea. These immigrants constituted the largest proportion of the extreme conservatives that continues to define the country’s social political climate for the last six decades. The Wolnam Protestants was the other most influential conservative group in South Korea (Kang In- Cheol, 163). According to Kang In- Cheol (167), wolnam group originated from the northwest region of Korean peninsula. The group is the most politically conservative inside the protestant church in South Korea. From the first article, it apparent that the protestant groups from North Korea have had a major influence in social political environment of south Korea since 1950s. Several factors contributed to the immense influence and control of the protestant groups from North Korea on South Korean church. According to Kang In- Cheol (185), the large sizes of the immigrant groups and their capacity to reorganize and integrate successfully within the South Korean society played a critical role in solidifying their conservative power in the adopted country. The immigrant protestant groups from North Korea capitalized on the growing internal conflict within the South Korean protestant churches to enhance their authority within the country’s religious structure. The ability to network and reconnect with foreign religious missionaries in South Korea enhanced the influence of incoming Protestant denominations in the country remarkably. The networking provided the Protestant Church with necessary funds for expansion and other logistical support that enhanced their appeal and influence in the South Korean society. Moreover, the “non-regional presbytery” system granted the incoming protestant churches from North Korea and other Wolnam Protestant group significant powers that enabled them solidify their influence in South Korea (Kang In- Cheol 174). Furthermore, non-regional presbytery system enhanced solidarity of the protestant churches within and across different protestant denominations. The above-mentioned factors promoted the social and political conservativism associated with the protestant denominations and enhanced their capacity to overcome difficult times that the church underwent when it split into different factions especially in the 1970s. The significant growth of protestant denominations in South Korea demonstrates the tremendous influence that foreign churches possess in the spread of a particular religion. Although political and social environment of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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