Thread: Christianity in Korea
10-31-2005, 17:32 #21
Also in Korea, christians still have strong confucian roots.
07-13-2006, 10:41 #22
Rupert and Margaret pretty much nailed it. Christianity began to become popular in Korea during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As Rupert pointed out, Buddhism was pretty much marginalized by the Neo-Confucian elite and had been actively discouraged by the Court. This created a sort of spiritual vaccuum that Christianity was able to fill. The Choson Court under the Taewongun attempted unsuccessfully to supress Christianity in the early half of the 19th Century, but pretty much gave up by the time the Japanese opened Korea up ala gunboat diplomacy.
During the Colonial Period, the Japanese government was fairly ambivelent about Christianity until Christian leaders played an important role in the March 1st uprising in 1919. During the suppression of the uprising, the Japanese burned many churches, occasionally with all of the villagers inside. As Margaret pointed out, it was about this time that Christianity also began to be associated with anti-Japanese resistance.
During the late '30s and '40s, the Government General adopted an assimilation policy that attempted to wipe out Korean culture and force Koreans to become "good" Imperial subjects. As part of this policy, the government attempted to force all Koreans to convert to Shinto. Korean Christians were the most resistant to this, so became the most oppressed segment of Korean society, which further boosted the image of Christianity as being anti-Japanese/anti-colonial. As the old saying goes, "the blood of the martyrs waters the growth of the Church," or something like that.
Last edited by TEA; 07-13-2006 at 10:45.Mushi mo atsui hodo
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