Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Korean Religion (by: Ulvia Z.)

Korean people seem that they have open-minded and active attitudes towards religion. It’s true that foreign religions were accepted easily. But some religions were not, for example the persecution of Catholicism in the late Joseon Dynasty. It proved that Korean people don’t have open-minded towards religion.
The Buddhism and Confucianism were accepted easily and became the state religion at that time. Islam is the latest foreign religion that came in Korea, but the number of Islam belivers are very few. And now the Christianity has the biggest religion in Korea but they are still influenced by Buddhism and Confucianism in their daily life. So Korean people practice the syncretism in their life. And I think that now there are many Korean Christian only believe in Christian just because Christianity is western thing. So Korean people only have open-minded for western things. Islam is not western thing so Korean people have little interest in Islam but prefer to choose Christian because Christian is the major religion in western country. It seems like Korean people choose Christianity just for fashion because they still practice the Confucianism or Buddhism.

Christianity supported democracy in Korea. The life of Korean people was influenced by Buddhism and Confucianism in the past time. But after Christianity came in Korea it was changed partly and became more dependent on Christianity. Korean people thought that everything that came from west is more modern. It made the way easier to Christianity spreads in Korea.
Christianity led the modernization in Korea and Korea started to be more liberal and democratized by the modernization. Buddhism has similarity with authoritarian throne and Korean people thought that was old fashioned thing that have to be leaved. Christianity has the similarity with democracy and liberalism that influenced Korean people and government to follow the democratization and liberalism. Christian taught the Korean people not only about the Christianity but also the western culture such as concept of freedom and democracy. It was support the middle class and lower class of Korean people. The middle class and lower class of Korean people felt comfortable with democracy that brought by Christianity because they have same position in governmental position with the high class if they practice the democracy.

During the past two millenia, Korean people have a number of major religions and ideologies, Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism and Christianity, at the same time, Korea's indigenous ideology has also maintaining a measure of influence. In the twentieth century, a large number of new religions developed in Korea, many of which have taken root and are now coexisting along with the other more established religions. It is Christianity that became the major religion in Korea now. At the first time, Christianity was not accepted in Korea easily but now it became the major religion that has big influence in Korean governmental life.
Indonesian religions also had influenced the governmental life in old Indonesian kingdoms in the past. Those religions were Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, and they became the major religion at that time. For examples, Hinduism was the major religion in Mataram Kingdom and the government was ruled by Hinduism concept. But now the major religion in Indonesia is Islam but it doesn’t have big influence in the governmental rule because Indonesia is the democratic nation. Though Islam become the major religion in Indonesia and has influence most of people, Islam doesn’t rule the governmental life because there are respect in another religions.
Korean religions and Indonesian religions both had influenced the government each of it from time to time. In Korea, the religion in governmental rule has big influence directly till now. In Indonesia, the religions had big influence in governmental rule directly in the past but now the religion in Indonesia doesn’t influence the government. Maybe it still has influence but not as big as in the past and indirectly.


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