Population, Language and Religion
phonetic script, Korean life, Daoism, Christian population, Christian missionaries
South Korea’s national language is Korean, which is written in a phonetic script known as Han'gul (called Choson'gu in North Korea).
In 1995 nearly one-half of the people in South Korea did not profess a religion. Buddhism claimed 10.4 million adherents. Confucianism, more a moral philosophy than a religion, is a more prominent element in Korean life than its relatively small number of adherents (0.4 percent of the population) would suggest. Christian missionaries were first permitted in Korea in 1882; by 1995 the Christian population was 11.8 million people, three-quarters of whom were Protestants. Also important is the Korea-based Unification Church. Other significant influences include Ch’ondogyo, a religion founded in the mid-19th century that fuses elements of Confucianism and Daoism (Taoism).
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