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Born AgainEvangelicalism in Korea$
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Timothy S. Lee

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833756

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833756.001.0001

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Evangelicalism Takes Off in South Korea, 1953–1988

Evangelicalism Takes Off in South Korea, 1953–1988

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter 3 Evangelicalism Takes Off in South Korea, 1953–1988
Source:
Born Again
Author(s):

Timothy S. Lee

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833756.003.0003

This chapter focuses on a series of massive evangelistic campaigns that took place in the South between 1953 and 1988. Korean evangelicalism underwent remarkable growth during this period. In 1950 it claimed at most 600,000 adherents (2.9 percent of the total population). By 1960 that figure had increased to 1,257,000 (5 percent); by 1970, to 2,197,000 (7 percent); and by 1985 the number of evangelical adherents had risen to 6,489,000 (16 percent). This means that from 1950 to 1980 the number of Protestants in Korea roughly doubled just about every decade, and from 1950 to 1985 the growth was more than tenfold. Moreover, by the middle of the 1980s, Korean evangelicalism had become a record holder in a number of categories of church growth. Such development naturally gives rise to the question of how it all came about. Having learned how evangelicalism contributed to both Korean nationalism and South Korean anticommunism in the preceding chapters, the chapter now examines more directly the political, socioeconomic, and especially religious factors pertinent to evangelicalism's rise in post-1953 Korea.

Keywords:   South Korea, Korean evangelicalism, Christianity, evangelistic campaigns, church growth, Protestantism

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