Religion in Korea

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File:The great stone Buddha at Eunjin.jpg
The stone Buddha at Eunjin, photograph from The passing of Korea (1906) by the American Protestant missionary Homer Bezaleel Hulbert.

Religion in Korea encompasses a number of different traditions. The indigenous religion of Korea and of the Korean people is Korean shamanism. Korean Buddhism had flourished in past centuries of the history of Korea, but was suppressed throughout the Joseon era, which supported Korean Confucianism as a state religion.[1] Christianity was promoted by the ruling and intellectual class in the final decades of the Joseon state, in the late 19th century, while the Confucian social structure was rapidly crumbling.[2]

Since the division of Korea into two sovereign states in 1945, North Korea and South Korea, religious life in the two countries has diverged, shaped by different political structures:

See also


  1. Grayson, 2002. pp. 120-138
  2. Grayson, 2002. pp. 155-158
  3. Lee, 1996. p. 110


  • James H. Grayson. Korea - A Religious History. Routledge, 2002. ISBN 070071605X
  • Sang Taek Lee. Religion and Social Formation in Korea: Minjung and Millenarianism. Walter de Gruyter & Co, 1996. ISBN 3110147971