South Korea

Catholicism 'most trusted religion' in South Korea

Korean Catholic Church which once was a ‘receiving church’ has evolved into a ‘sharing church’ since 1992

UCA News reporter

Updated: March 01, 2023 10:38 AM GMT

Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick of Seoul Archdiocese celebrates a memorial Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral to mark the 112th death anniversary of Catholic patriot Ahn Jung-geun on March 26, 2022. (Photo; Seoul Archdiocese)

The Catholic Church in South Korea is the most trusted religious group on the peninsula, according to a recent survey.

Among those surveyed, 21.4 percent of respondents revealed that they had more trust in Catholicism in comparison to other religions in the country.

The 2023 Korean Church Social Trust Survey was conducted by G&Com Research on behalf of the Christian Ethics Practice Movement from Jan. 11 to 15 among 1,000 men and women over 19 years of age.

According to the survey, Protestantism came second with 16.5 percent of respondents supporting it, while Buddhism occupied the third spot with 15.7 percent.

However, in comparison to 2020 data, the overall reliability of Catholicism, Protestantism, and Buddhism declined.

The survey report was released on Feb. 16, at the 100th Anniversary Memorial Hall of Korean Churches in Seoul.

It also provided an analysis of the trust level of respondents based on their income levels.

High-income respondents trusted Catholicism the most, while low-income respondents felt that Protestantism was more trustworthy.

A comparison of each of the religion's social service activities was also carried out in the survey.

Catholics obtained the top spot with 29.4 percent in terms of the volume or number of social support activities conducted. Protestants came in second with 20.6 percent whereas Buddhists were third with 6.8 percent.

Catholicism also maintained the top spot in terms of the quality of social support services it provides to people.

In a 2020 survey, Protestantism occupied the top spot in this category.

Among the respondents, 26.7 percent felt that Catholic social support services offered good quality. Protestants came in second at 19.8 percent and Buddhists at 9.8 percent.

The survey also evaluated the overall contribution of religious groups to South Korean society.

According to the survey, Catholicism (26.4 percent) made the largest positive contribution followed by Protestantism (15.7 percent), and Buddhism (15.1 percent).

The Korean Catholic Church which was a 'receiving church' until the mid-1980s has evolved into a 'sharing church' since 1992.

The Church contributes to Korean society through its multi-faceted support system and takes care of young and old alike through schools, colleges, hospitals, elderly care, migrant advocacy, environmental protection, pro-life advocacy, and more.

This report is brought to you in partnership with the Catholic Times of Korea

Latest News
Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Lent is the season during which catechumens make their final preparations to be welcomed into the Church.
Each year during Lent, UCA News presents the stories of people who will join the Church in proclaiming that Jesus Christ is their Lord. The stories of how women and men who will be baptized came to believe in Christ are inspirations for all of us as we prepare to celebrate the Church's chief feast.
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
UCA News