By combing the history, we can know that the Christian religion in South Korea is deeply involved in the development process of the modern nation-state in South Korea, which is one of the reasons why it can change from a foreign religion which has been excluded to the most influential religion in South Korea today. However, there are some contradictions in it. After all, Christianity is a foreign religion. Even if we adopt a certain localization strategy in order to adapt to the local cultural situation, especially when the country is in danger and participates in the campaign of saving the nation from subjugation and survival, its fundamental theological core should be separated from the traditional Korean culture. What makes the South Korean people highly accept it as not from outside, I am inherent, or even sharing the same breath and destiny? This paper will sort out.
1u3001 Before the founding of modern Korea: Christian religion and nationalism go hand in hand
Christian religion in South Korea has always boasted that it is a religion introduced by Koreans themselves, which is true in a sense.
In 1784, Catholicism first came to South Korea through the return of Korean Li Chengxun, who believed in Catholicism in China, to the Korean Peninsula and began to take root. Li Chengxuns father sent envoys to Qing Dynasty for Lis Korean Dynasty. During his stay in Beijing with his father, Li was baptized and preached Catholicism to the local people after returning to the Korean Peninsula. However, due to the exclusive respect of Confucianism and the orthodox rejection of Western religions in the Li Dynasty, a religious case broke out in the next year, and a dozen people who participated in religious activities were arrested. In 1791, the church was sued by the anti Catholic Confucians for ancestor worship, which led to the dismissal of Li Chengxun himself, and the exile or imprisonment of the key members of the church.
In 1801, because the Catholic Huang Si could not bear to suppress, he wrote a letter to the bishop of Beijing, hoping that the Church of Beijing would contact the Qing emperor and Western Christian countries to exert pressure on the Korean Dynasty for the benefit of missionary work. As a result, the secret letter was seized, known as the silk book incident. This incident triggered a new round of teaching plan. After the 19th century, as in the Qing Dynasty, Lis North Korea began to be threatened by Western powers frequently. At this time, Catholicism offered to help the court communicate with Western powers, especially to contact Britain and France to participate in mediation and block Russias occupation of Yuanshan port. Unfortunately, the ruling monarch at that time mistakenly thought that the Qing government had determined to fight against the Western powers, so instead of refusing the favor of Catholicism, he further brutally suppressed the Catholic Church, hunted and killed the native believers and foreign priests, and the relationship between the two sides fell to the freezing point.
The case of the arrest of Catholics in the Li Dynasty
In contrast, Protestantism in the Korean Peninsula in the early spread of a lot of smooth. In 1860, the Korean people who received Protestant Christianity in Northeast China returned to the Korean Peninsula and brought their translated Protestant Bible into Korea. Since then, the spread of Protestantism in the Korean Peninsula began. The Protestantism in the early stage was suppressed just like Catholicism, but at this time the Korean Peninsula was coveted and threatened by western colonists and Japan after Meiji Restoration. Some intellectuals began to seek for self-improvement by learning western cultural knowledge. Christian Protestantism was soon regarded by some of them as the driving force to help Western civilization develop, so it became worthy of learning Elephant. For example, when Yin Zhihao, a local Christian at that time, talked about why Christianity should be encouraged to spread in North Korea, he said, Protestantism is the root and goal of enlightenment, and enlightenment is to accept Christianity. The process of South Koreas acceptance of Christianity is self innovation of people through self denial and regeneration of Korean people whose souls die.
Trinity movement in South Korea
In 1896, the Li Dynasty issued the religious freedom order, and Christianity finally gained full legal status in the Korean Peninsula. Soon, however, the Korean Peninsula became a Japanese colony. Protestantism then actively participated in the Korean national independence movement.
In the same year, Protestant Christians such as Xu zaibi and Yin Zhihao founded the independence Association, mobilized urban Christians to join in the national independence movement, condemned the aggression of foreign forces, launched the human rights protection movement, assisted in the construction of factories to accelerate the modernization of South Korea, and issued many newspapers to advocate democracy and patriotism. In 1898, a sister group of the independent association, the association of saints, was set up to organize branches in various parts of the Korean Peninsula, absorb the citizens and officials, and support the activities of the independent association. In 1919, the Trinity independence movement broke out on the Korean Peninsula. Christians actively joined the movement. 16 Christians joined in the joint declaration of independence and became the core leader of the movement. As a result, the Christian Church also suffered cruel retaliation from the Japanese colonial authorities. As many as 41 Christian churches were destroyed by Japanese gendarmes in Pyongyang, Xuanchuan and water pump. As many as 2033 Protestants were arrested and prosecuted in the whole Trinity movement, the largest number among all religions, while 57 Catholics were arrested and prosecuted for participating in the movement. Therefore, Christian religion has established a deep connection with the Korean national movement and nationalism, which has continued to this day.
Yin Zhihao, leader of independent association
2u3001 The authoritarian period of Christian president: Christian religions devotion to politics and reconstruction of South Korea
In 1948, the Republic of Korea was established. Lee, supported by Americans, was elected the first president of South Korea. Li CHENGWANs election depends entirely on the support of the Americans. He was exiled overseas for a long time during the independence movement, and his prestige and influence in South Korea are limited. As a Christian of the supervision committee, he naturally thought of mobilizing believers to increase his support through the new church. Therefore, he publicly proposed that the religious groups such as Confucianism and Buddhism are so active, and the Christian attitude is so negative that it is incomprehensible. He hoped that Christianity would be more active than the March 1 movement! We need all Christian organizations to establish the independent central agreement Church of Christianity. On the one hand, we need to encourage the development of the church, on the other hand, we need to expand our momentum accordingly. After the Korean War, the government also established a systematic mechanism to hire Protestant priests into the military groups, which made the church power occupy a place in the military. In the late period of Li CHENGWAN, Protestantism grew rapidly in South Korea. The number of believers increased from 30000 in 1900 to 3200000 in 1969, and the proportion of population increased from 1% to 10.2%. In return, the Korean Protestant church spared no effort to support Li chenglate. In 1952 and 1956, both the two general elections were marked with the banner of electing a Christian president to support him.
Lee Seung Wan, supported by the South Korean Protestant church under the banner of electing a Christian president
In 1960, due to the social discontent caused by Li CHENGWANs love for power, the 419 revolution broke out in South Korea. Li CHENGWAN was forced to step down and immediately held the presidential election. The election soon became a confrontation between Christian and Catholic candidates. Protestant church supported Protestant Yin Shushan and Jin Duyan. Protestant church supported Protestant leader Zhang Mian in Parliament. Zhang Mian won by a narrow margin. However, only eight months later, Buddhist soldier Park Chung Hee launched a coup to overthrow the government led by Zhang Mian.
With the rise of Park Chung Hee, the close relationship between Protestantism and the government in South Korea has rapidly cooled down. The young Christian God students and priests inspired by the 1949 revolution are paying more and more attention to social issues and joining the movement against autocracy. In 1972, Park Chung Hee established a strong unconstitutional reform system to seek re-election of the president, which led to a strong internal rebound of the Christian Church. He began to organize a large-scale public prayer conference to pray for the future of the country, set up Pan Christian Alliance and South Korean church agreement Council (ncck) and other institutions, and publicly issued the South Korean declaration of human rights and the 50 million people Human rights of the people protest against human rights violations by autocratic governments and organize protests.
In the same period, Catholicism changed its image of less participation in politics and actively participated in political movements. In rural areas, the Catholic Church has set up Korean Catholic Rural Youth Association, Christian College and other groups to help farmers protect their rights and interests, and organize protest activities when their rights and interests are damaged. Chi Xuechun, the bishop of Yuanzhou diocese, was arrested to protect the poets who participated in the protest, which led to the further rebound of the Catholic Church. In 1974, the Catholic priests Union for the pursuit of justice was established to fight continuously. In 1975, the Catholic Church issued the Declaration on democracy and saving the country in the Mingdong Catholic Church in Seoul, which publicly opposed the dictatorship of Park Chung Hee. In 1979, Park Chung Hee was assassinated, and Quan Douhuan took office as president through the double 12 coup. During the reign of Quan Douhuan, political pressure continued to rise, and the arrest and expulsion of Protestant and Catholic dissidents were more frequent. The participation of church members in resistance activities is becoming more and more normal. Seouls Mingdong Catholic Church has become a holy land for public demonstrations.
Mingdong Catholic Church, Seoul
The modern democratic movement in South Korea has no less influence on the reconstruction of the country and the cohesion of the nation than the modern national independent liberation movement. In this process, not only Protestantism, but also Catholics actively participate in it, which makes the Korean public further regard Christianity as a part of sharing the same breath and destiny with their own nation, clearing the obstacles for the widespread spread of Christianity in Korean society. This period is also the fastest growing period of Christianity in South Korea.
3u3001 The deep reason of integration into society: the localization of Christian Theology
Lets go back to the question at the beginning of the article. The fundamental theological core of Christian religion should be separated from the traditional culture of South Korea. In fact, the Protestantism of South Korea has forbidden the believers to sacrifice their ancestors in the traditional way since the 19th century, which has been widely criticized by the traditional intellectuals. In addition to the deep origin of the formation of modern nation-state in South Korea, what are the reasons for the large-scale development of Christian religion in South Korea?
The reason why the Christian religion in South Korea is so compatible with the Korean nation is closely related to its full localization in theological background.
First of all, the rise of popular theology makes the Christian theology of South Korea consistent with the traditional cultural value of South Korea. South Korea has been threatened by foreign enemies for a long time in modern history, especially after it became a Japanese colony, the nation has been suffering for a long time. Such a background has led to an idea called minjung in Korean society, whose core is Han. Of course, hate here is not the meaning of hatred, but a complex feeling of helplessness, regret, loss of trust and depression. The origin of popular thought is Korean civil society, which is gradually accepted by more and more religious groups including Protestantism, Buddhism and folk religion with the development of national independence movement. In the 1960s, some liberal theologians of Protestantism in South Korea formally put forward the popular theology, pointing out that the human nature created by God has the divine supremacy, but it is violated by the political, economic and social power holders, that is, it is deprived of political human rights by political power, economic rights by capitalism, and social human rights of women by patriarchal social system. Its our responsibility to remove evil forces and illegal prejudices when they arise, said pastor Kim Jae Joon In the 1970s, the great release of the Second Vatican Conference on the inclusiveness and openness of the Catholic Church finally spread to the Korean church, which also accepted the popular theology as a model of native theology. Therefore, the Christian religion in South Korea has the same theological background as Buddhism and many folk religions in South Korea. It is precisely this theological background that supports the South Korean church to carry out extensive urban industrial propaganda and rural propaganda in this period, and introduce a large number of urban industrial workers and farmers living at the bottom of the society into the church. The protection of the interests of these groups promoted the church to further merge with the surging waves of change in Korean society at that time.
Although popular theology has a profound influence, it was not accepted by most churches in the 1970s-1980s. The majority of Christian religions in South Korea are accepted by the public through conforming to another more practical pursuit of Korean traditional religious culture. Besides Christianity and Buddhism, there are many folk religious beliefs in South Korea since ancient times. This kind of belief is generally classified as Shamanism. Although there are many differences within Shamanism, there is a common feature, that is, the so-called praying belief, which protects the health and wealth of the devotees by offering sacrifices and prayers to gods or spirits. In the early days of its spread, the South Korean church has noticed the needs of believers, deliberately played down the original Christian pursuit of eternal life and suffering cross theology, and instead emphasized Gods blessing for believers current life. In the industrialized era of South Korea, a large number of people enter the city to study or work. These people living at the bottom of the society are full of pressure and melancholy. The traditional religion that can give them comfort is hard to find in the city. In the countryside, because the New Village Movement promoted by Park Chung Hees era arrested a large number of shamans and stopped witchcraft activities in the name of eliminating superstition, it is difficult to meet such needs through traditional ways. Christian religion just filled in the vacuum of this spiritual need and became an important spiritual consolation for Koreans in this period.
However, it is precisely because of this feature of South Korean Christianity that its belief connotation becomes vulgar and superficial, and the Church of successful theology which emphasizes the benefits of this life can be obtained by one-sided belief is popular. Such churches usually only focus on the increase of the number of believers and the expansion of church buildings, in order to achieve their own greater economic benefits. For a time, Seouls Ruyi Island Evangelical Church, once known as the worlds largest Protestant organization, is a typical representative. Zhao Yongji, the pastor in charge of the church, declared that Jesus triple blessing to believers was Soul Salvation, physical health and life prosperity. The construction of the church began in 1973, and the number of believers continued to increase. During the peak period, the number of believers reached 800000, and a worldwide missionary organization was established. However, after 2000, the group has been plagued by scandals. In 2014, Zhao Yongji was convicted by the Central District Court of Seoul on suspicion of malfeasance and embezzlement of 13 billion won.
A church of the all Evangelical Church in Ruyi Island, Seoul
The development of Christian religion in South Korea for more than 200 years is indeed deeply embedded in the blood of the Korean nation, and through the localization of Theological Background, the Korean people have a feeling of not from outside, I am inherent. The mass theology formed by the Indigenization of Christian theology has for a long time supported the participation of Christian religion in these movements that affect the fate of the country and the nation of South Korea, but also gradually declined with the end of the movement. On the contrary, the praying faith as another theological achievement has been growing in Korean churches since the 1980s, which not only led to the emergence of a large number of churches embracing successful theology and pursuing economic benefits, but also provided opportunities for the development and expansion of heresy in Christian coat, which made Korean churches in believer population and churches In terms of quantity and scale, there is always an unsettling crisis.
South Korea: 42 new world believers have been in Wuhan since January.
According to the Ministry of justice of South Korea, 3160 believers from Koreas new world church entered Korea from China last July 1st to February 27th this year. 42 of them came from Wuhan.