Both Catholic papers in their recent issue, introduced to the readers the statistical report on the condition of Catholicism in Korea for 2014. Summarizing: there was an increase of 5% of those entering the church from the previous year, and another decrease to 20.7 % of the Catholics who go to Sunday Mass.
In 1999 the index of those
attending Sunday Mass dropped to the 20% level from (29.5%); 15 years later it will be
entering the 10% zone. In 1980 the church was at the height of its
favorable opinion among the citizens, but this did not show in the
devotional life of the parishioners nor in their community life.
1999 there has been an increase of 40.89% in the number of
Catholics. However, sacramental life, group activities and
religious studies have decreased. We can't base everything on these
statistics but they do show direction. The future for Catholicism
in Korea is not overly bright and demands some serious concern and
One of the editorials mentions
the 'Pope Francis effect' on the church may have some truth, but it
should show in the numbers going to Mass and the Sacraments and this is
not the case. Until we see the change in those who frequent the Sacraments and attend Mass, and become involved in group activity we can
not speak about the 'Francis effect' in Korea, was the conclusion.
number of priests and religious is also showing a decrease from previous
years. The age of the Catholics is also increasing with the ages from
50 to 55 being the largest with 9.8%. Those under 19 have
decrease to 3.6%. Those over 80, the women number 74.3%.
Korea is listed as the 46th country with the
largest number of Catholics, and in Asia they are the fifth after the
Philippines, India, Indonesia and Vietnam according to the Statistical
Yearbook of the Church.
Numbers of those falling away
from the Church is seen by the drop in those going to
Sunday Mass, and the numbers who are no longer going to Confession. The
task of those responsible for the pastoral work will need to find solutions to stem the tide, and new ways to evangelize those in the pews.