Wednesday, March 24, 2010

South Korea's Three Religions

"Compared with the results of the general census of 2005, which the government makes every ten years, Catholics have grown by 74% against an 18% increase in Buddhists and a 16% decrease in Protestants," according to this report by Theresa Kim Hwa-young — Church growing stronger in Korea. "Unity and hierarchical organization," under which the "Church functions as an organic body," is cited as of "the reasons for the success of Catholic evangelization in Korea." "Tolerance towards ancestral rites" is another:
    In 1742, Pope Benedict XIV prohibited devotion to ancestral rites condemning them as superstition, thus providing China and Korea an excuse to persecute Christians. But in 1939 pope Pius XI decided to allow the Confucian ancestral rite under the condition all superstitious elements were removed.
Servant of God Matteo Ricci, S.J. (利瑪竇) held that the rite was not religious in nature, but his learned opinion did not prevent what came to be known as the Chinese Rites Controversy, and the proponents of Jansenism who took the wrong side, from blicking missionary work in the Confucian East for two centuries.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Tom Piatak said...

Thanks for posting this bit of good news.

2:49 AM  
Blogger kushibo said...

The article attributes this to a number of factors (all of which seem like valid reasons), including the "star" factor of Cardinal Stephen Kim.

Is there a new star today, someone as recognizable and loved as the good Cardinal was?

3:11 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Cardinal Cheong may not be a "rock star," but he certainly has moral authority.

The fact that convert Kim Yu-na makes the sign of the cross before skating has probably caused a few to climb on board the Barque of Peter.

3:22 AM  

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.