South Korea: Catholicism ‘Most Trusted Religion’ – Survey


(UCA News) — 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.

UCA News

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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