ISSN 2330-717X

Korea Sees Increase In Catholic Numbers, But Fewer Join Sacraments


The number of Korean Catholics rose slightly in 2015 but fewer of them participated in the sacraments, according to church statistics released March 30.

As of Dec. 31, 2015, there were 5,655,504 Catholics in Korea, or 10.7 percent of whole Korean population, said statistics from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea. That figure was a growth rate of 1.7 percent from the previous year.

Figures reveal though that participation in the sacraments is falling. There were 116,143 baptisms in 2015, which was a 6.9 percent decrease over the previous year.

Marriage in the church recorded 19,012 cases, a 3.9 percent fall. Those who went to confession were counted to be 4,283,662, which is a 6 percent decrease over 2014. First Communion and Confirmation numbers were also decreased.

Meanwhile, the number of clergy in Korea totaled 5,129 including two cardinals, 38 archbishops and bishops, 4,909 Korean priests and 182 foreign priests. The number increased by 145 over 2014.

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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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