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    » 04/23/2014, 00.00

    SOUTH KOREA

    Korea’s Catholic Church continues to grow: faithful now 10.4% of the population



    The Bishops' Conference releases figures for the previous year: faithful now almost 5.5 million, an increase of 1.5% over the previous year. Since 2003, the statistics show a steady growth of the Catholic population.

    Seoul ( AsiaNews) - The Korean Catholic Church continues to grow. In 2013, the number of faithful and priests increased, even if there are fewer religious marriages and a drop in attendance at Sunday mass. This is shown by the 2013 Catholic Church statistics, published today by the National Bishops Conference.

    According to the Statistics as of December 31, 2013, the number of Catholics in Korea was 5,442,996, an increase of 1.5% (81,627) over the last year. This accounts for 10.4% of the total population. The total number of Catholics in Korea has slightly and consistently increased since 2003. By gender, the number of the male faithful was 2,250,015 and the number of the female faithful was 3,192,981, 41.3% and 58.7% respectively of the total Catholics in Korea.

    Of the 15 dioceses and the Military Ordinariate in Korea, the Archdiocese of Seoul was the most population with 27.1% of the total Catholics in Korea, followed by the Diocese of Suwon (15.2%), the Archdiocese of Daegu (8.8%), and the Diocese of Incheon (8.7%). The combined number of the faithful in the metropolitan area (Seoul, Incheon, Uijeongbu and Suwon) accounted for 56.1% of all the Catholics in Korea.

    According to the Statistics, the number of newly baptized in 2013 was 118,830, a decrease of 10% from the previous year. By gender, newly baptized men represented 63,285 and women 55,545. The number of infants baptized amounted to 25,589.

    The Statistics also indicates that number of clergy in Korea in 2013 amounted to 4,901 with 36 bishops, including two Cardinals. There were 4,695 Korean priests and 170 foreign priests. Among the priests, 3,995 were diocesan priests, 697 were religious priests and 173 were missionary priests. 117 priests were newly ordained in 2013, an increase of 2.6% from the previous year.

    With regard to men and women religious, there were 1,564 men religious, including novices, religious in temporary and perpetual vows as well as foreign religious, while there were 10,173 women religious.

    The number of marriages celebrated in the Church amounted to 19,424 in 2013, a decrease of 6.2% from the previous year. Of this number 11,926 cases were marriages between a baptized and a non-baptized person. The number of the faithful who received the Sacrament of Confession was 4,665,194, a decrease of 4.7% from the previous year. The average rate for Sunday Mass attendance was 21.2% of the total Catholic population in Korea, a decrease of 1.5% from the previous year.

     

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    See also

    22/06/2010 KOREA
    Number of Catholics in Korea continues to grow
    116 thousand more than 2008. Since 1999 there has been an annual increase of 2-3%. In 2008 the number exceeded 5 million. Ordination of priests also increases, around 4913: one for every 1,171 faithful.

    15/04/2015 SOUTH KOREA
    Francis effect sees jump in baptisms and catechumens in 2014
    According to official data from the Korean Bishops' Conference, in 2014, 124 748 baptisms were celebrated, a 5% increase over the previous year. End to decline that had lasted since 2010. The Bishop of Daejeon: "Happy, this is a result of Pope Francis’ visit. The number of catechumens has also increased".

    14/03/2014 KOREA
    Korea, records sales (even among non-Christians) for Evangelii Gaudium
    Since the publication in Korean two weeks ago, Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation has sold 25 thousand copies compared to the usual quantity of 4 thousand for papal documents. Catholic publishing sources explain: "It’s because of the Pope's impending visit, but also to its simple language and its discussion of current issues such as social inequality".

    17/03/2014 KOREA - VATICAN
    Korea, President Park thanks the Pope: Your visit is a great opportunity for us all
    South Korean president Park Geun-hye receives members of the Preparatory Commission for the papal visit: "This year is filled with Catholic occasions! We are grateful to Francis for his creating archbishop Yeom a cardinal".

    06/06/2007 SOUTH KOREA
    With more than 147,000 newly baptised in 2006 the number of Catholics grows
    The bishops’ conference of Korea release statistics about the state of the Church in South Korea. They show that the total number of Catholics is up and now represents almost 10 per cent of the total population but that vocations and Sunday mass attendance are down.



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