Korea, (South) Republic of
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Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1

Korea, (South) Republic of Eastern Asia World
Baha'i <0.1% <0.1% 0.1%
Buddhist 24.8% 19.0% 7.2%
Chinese Universalist <0.1% 26.8% 6.3%
Christian 33.4% 8.1% 32.8%
Confucianist 10.9% 0.4% 0.1%
Ethnoreligionist 14.7% 4.4% 3.5%
Hindu <0.1% <0.1% 13.8%
Jain 0.0% <0.1% <0.1%
Jewish <0.1% <0.1% 0.2%
Muslim 0.1% 1.4% 22.5%
Shintoist <0.1% 0.2% <0.1%
Sikh <0.1% <0.1% 0.3%
Spiritist 0.0% <0.1% 0.2%
Taoist 0.0% 0.5% 0.1%
Zoroastrian 0.0% <0.1% <0.1%
Neoreligionists 14.2% 2.8% 0.9%
Atheist 0.1% 6.7% 2.0%
Agnostic 1.5% 29.7% 9.8%

Religious Demography2

The country has an area of 38,023 square miles and a population of 49 million. According to 2005 census data, the percentages of adherents to the predominant religious communities are: Buddhist, 22.8 percent; Protestant, 18.3 percent; and Roman Catholic, 10.9 percent.

No official figures were available on the membership of other religious groups, which include Jehovah's Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Seventh-day Adventist Church, Daesun Jinrihoe, Unification Church, and Islam.

According to Gallup Korea's 2004 survey on the state of religion in the country, 36 percent of those who practiced a faith reported that they attended religious services or rituals at a church or temple more than once a week, 10.6 percent attended two to three times per month, 20.6 percent attended once or twice a year, and 4.9 percent did not attend services. Of those who attended more than once a week, Protestants had the highest attendance rate at 71 percent, Catholics 42.9 percent, and Buddhists 3.5 percent.


Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.

1.  The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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