Wednesday, August 7, 2013

South Korean Catholics and North Korea

The  Catholic Times and a public opinion research organization will survey a thousand Koreans, aged 19 and older, to determine what they think on a number of social problems, and make the results available in the pages of the Catholic Times once each month, with comments.   The surveys will use random sampling and digital dialing, which will assure, they say, 95 percent accuracy, with a low margin for error. The number of Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, and  Non Believers were included in the 1000 respondents according to the numbers they have in the population as a whole. Since the Catholics have a little over 10 percent they numbered  106 of the total number of respondents.

The first question asked: Could  religion contribute to solving the problems with the North?  59.2 percent of the Catholics said that the problems could be solved by a  religious approach. 56 percent of the Buddhists, 47 percent of the Protestants, and  41.3 without Religion/and others, believed  religion could contribute.

To the question: Do you think we are living in peace with the North in this our 60th year of the Korean War armistice?  Buddhists 66.8 percent, Protestants 64.7 percent, and without religious belief/and others 60.2 percent. Breaking this down even further we have 23 percent of Catholics who felt we completely lack a peaceful relationship. Buddhist 11.2 percent, no religion/and others 11 percent, and Protestants 6.4 percent.

To the question: Is there a need for the unification of Korea? 80 percent of the Protestants saw a need for unification, those without religion 71.5 percent, Catholics 64.5 percent, and Buddhists 60.7 percent.

To the question: Do you know about the support the South is giving the North? 73.2 percent of Catholics did know, 72.4 percent of those without religion/and others, Buddhists 70.9 percent, and Protestants 59.4 percent.

Commenting on the results of the survey, the Catholic Times said that a lot more education has to be provided to our Catholics in the form of parish educational programs. The very low rate of Catholics who saw a need for unification is not a good sign, it said. Though the Church is aware of this shortcoming among our Catholics and is working to change their thinking on this matter, the reality is that the political and social climate in the country still has more to do with the way our Catholics think than does the influence of a Catholic view of life.

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