The Protestant Church as a Political Training Ground in Modern Korea

The Protestant Church as a Political Training Ground in Modern Korea


  • Journal title: International Journal of Korean History
  • ISSN: 1598-2041 (print) 2508-5921 (online)
  • Publisher: Korea University, Center for Korean History
  • Country of publisher: korea, republic of
  • Date added to EuroPub: 2018/May/12

Subject and more

  • LCC Subject Category: History
  • Publisher's keywords: Protestant Church, Political Training Ground
  • Language of fulltext: english
  • Full-text formats available: PDF


    Chung-shin Park



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A great majority of the personages on the political scene right after the liberation in 1945 were Protestant church leaders and members. In addition to moderate to left-wing leaders such as Kim Kyusik, Yo Unhyong, Kang Yang'uk and Ch'oe Yonggon, major personalities of the right such as Syngman Rhee, Kim Ku, Cho Mansik, Yi Yunyong and Yi Siyong were also church leaders or Christians. Especially after the emergence of two separate regimes in the north and the south, in the south, Christians came to occupy some 40 percent of political leadership positions, even though they constituted less than 10 percent of the south This article is a revision of my paper, which I read at the symposium on “The Impact of Christianity on Korean Culture' at the Center for Korean Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, held on Mat 7, 2004. It is based on my previous works, such as Chung-shin Park, Protestantism and Politics in Korea (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2003; Pak Chongsin (Chung-shin Park), Han'guk kidokkyosa insik (A New Understanding of Korean Church History), (Seoul: Hye'an, 2004), Han'guk kidokkto ilgi (A Historical Reading of Korean Christianity), (Seaol: Tarakbang, 2004) and so forth.

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