We tackle one of our toughest subjects yet for this week’s LIKE IT!
We are NOT trying to shy away from difficult subjects when people make requests. So, when we received this question we knew it would have to be one that we faced head on. However, speaking about religion can sometimes be difficult and sensitive to some people, and so we went about this as judicially as we possibly could.
We wanted to make sure we presented a combination of what we know and have experienced living in Korea with facts about religion from this country. A simple search on Google of “Religion in South Korea” actually results in Wikipedia entries of ‘Religion in South Korea’ and ‘Freedom of Religion in South Korea.’ Of course any one of us is free to roam the web and find as much information on this subject as we possibly can, and likewise we did our very best to summarize the important points of what we found.
There are many religions that people follow and practice here. And, there are also a large group of people that don’t practice any religion. Churches and Buddhist temples can easily be seen in virtually all parts of the country. People who are religious can be seen in public often, and church groups go out in cities singing together and they do volunteer work.
I have a particular interest in this subject because I was a Christian Ministries major in college back in Pennsylvania. Therefore, out of all the research I did for this video, I found it most fascinating when I started looking into the Unification Church here. The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, also known as the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification or Unification Church was founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon in 1954. The very short version of the history of this church is that Rev. Moon had Jesus Christ appear to him when he was a young boy, and was basically told by him to finish his work. So he started the church. There’s plenty on the web to read about this in more detail if you’re interested, but that’s the jist of it.
What’s interesting to me is the amount of influence this church has in Korea and around the world. It’s mesmerizing and kind of scary to be honest. I actually took notes, and we recorded the different areas they have a vested interest in, but the list ended up being way too long to fit into the video. As it is the video is over 13 minutes long. So instead I’m listing them below:
Unification Church Vested Interests:
– Interfaith organizations
– Education in schools both in Korea and the USA
– The publish the New World Encyclopedia (Richard grew up with a set of these as a young boy) They also help write and edit a lot of Wikipedia entries.
– The Arts, including ballet and music from the New York Symphony (conductor David Eaton)
– Sports (They own the Yong Pyeong Ski Resort which is the host of the 2018 Winter Olympics here in Korea)
– Political Organizations
– Chaebols: Tongil Group (Ginsaeng)
– Automobile factories in North Korea
– Real Estate Companies in the USA
– News World Communications, which owns the Washington Times
– They own most of the fisheries in the USA, including most of the sushi trade
– NGOS: Universal Peace Federation, Women’s Federation for World Peace, and Service for Peace
– American Coalition for Traditional Values
– National Conservative Action Party
– American freedom Coalition
– George Bush Presidential Library
– Liberty University and University of Bridgeport
That’s a long list.
Anyways, that’s enough for now. We’d love to know what you think of our video on religion in South Korea. And if you have any questions at all about this place, we’d love to try and answer them. Thanks for watching you guys!