Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Catholicism as Seen by Society in Korea

Polls,surveys, and questionnaires are not always the best way of knowing how a particular group, society or organization is seen by the public but it does tell us something which is of value.

Catholicism is still seen by the ordinary Korean  as the religion which has the most trust.  A Protestant research group made a survey of a thousand citizens according to the percentages in which they are in society. Of the 1000, 10.1 percent were Catholics, Protestants numbered 22.5 percent, Buddhists, 22.1 percent, and non- believers 48 percent.  The number of Catholics had the lowest number of participants but the Catholics had the highest number of those who found Catholicism trustworthy, because 32.7 percent of the non-believers gave Catholicisms high marks.

What some found of interest was that 13.3 percent of the Buddhists and 11.9 present of the Protestants thought Catholicism most worthy of trust. 88.7 percent of the Catholics  considered their religion  the most trustworthy of the religions, the highest of any group. Protestantism was 75 percent and Buddhism was 69.5 percent.

Catholicism did come out as the religion with the most trust but  there was a drop of 11.9 percent from 41.1, compared to 2009.  During  this same period of time the Protestants rose 1.3 percent.

Recently the question of religion and politics was acute and 74 percent of the respondents were against the religious  participation in politics. Only 23.1 percent were in favor. Of the Catholics 76.7 percent were against participation. The professor responsible for the survey said one of the reasons for the decline would be the Catholic priests disputing the Northern Limit Line ( NLL  the maritime waters that separate the  North from the  South). The survey was taken shortly after the the opinion of the priests was made public.

The religion that has been most evolved in service to the public was Protestantism with 35.7 percent.  Catholicism was 29.3 percent and Buddhism was 13.2  percent. Catholicism dropped from 37.9 percent in 2010  to 29.3 percent.  Protestantism stayed pretty much where it was in 2010.

The whole idea of what is meant my participation in politics is not clear, but what is clear is Catholics either do not understand what it means to participate in society or they do not like the way it is done. Since you have such a high number of Catholics who do not appreciate what they see is reason enough to try to make some distinctions so that work for justice remains more than praying for justice.

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