Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Survey of Catholics In Seoul Korea

A survey was made recently of Catholics in three areas of Seoul, Korea: 10,784 from nine parishes. The main reason for the survey was to determine what changes had occurred in the makeup of the diocese since the Diocesan Synod was held ten years ago. The results of the survey would provide an objective criterion  to plan for the future. The questionnaire sought answers to four main areas of concern: spirituality and community life, small Christian communities, religious education, and participation in society.

Briefly summarizing the results: the older the Christians in the parish the higher the  numbers of  those attending Mass; the younger the parishioners the less attendance at Mass. But those younger would be more involved with support groups in the parish and participate more in society. The percentage of those interested in scripture, spirituality, and liturgy was 68.8 percent; those interested in evangelization and the social gospel was 28 percent. This shows a need to integrate the way the two groups see the life of faith. With the survey figures affirming that the number of the young attending Mass is decreasing, it was seen as imperative that there be more programs for them or face the prospect of having even less young people going to Church. With respect to attending small Christian community meetings, 45.2 percent have never attended one, 13.4 percent have shown little interest in doing so, 14.9 were active participants, and 12.5 percent were slightly interested.

The Seoul diocese has a goal of  20 percent of the population of Seoul being Catholic by 2020, but the questionnaire showed that 77 percent of the Catholics have not brought anyone to the Church in the last three years. Of the respondents, 1,388 brought at least one person, 616 brought 2, and 234 brought 3. 175 brought 4-10, and 24 Catholics brought more than 11. The reasons given for not evangelizing: too difficult (42.3 percent); feeling not good enough examples of Catholic living (28.8 percent);  and did not know how (609)
516 did not participate in any educational program; 12.9 percent participated, and 35.6 percent rarely did.

The area in which the young excelled was participating in society: 53 percent of those in their 40s actively participate, 47.9 percent of those in their 30s, and of those in their 60s and 70s, 26.4 and 29.4 percent respectively. The survey was written up in both Catholic papers and should help the other dioceses to plan for the future.

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