Day 7: Buddhism in Korea

Hwan recalls a school trip to a Buddhist temple. “We went to see what life is like as a monk. They had us sit on the floor with our legs crossed and meditate for 40 minutes. My legs cramped up and 

I couldn’t concentrate.” The trip was meant to inspire the students to consider joining the monastery, but Hwan, like most of his peers, had no interest in it. 

Buddhism came to Korea in about 372 BC and absorbed some of the earlier Shamanistic beliefs of the region, even incorporating shrines to popular spirits. Today, Buddhists make up about 23% of the population in the South with an  estimated 2% of the population in North Korea. 

In 1907 a Protestant revival occurred in and around the city of Pyongyang, what is today the capital city of North Korea with many people becoming Christians. Prior to the Korean War (1950–1953), two-thirds of Korean Christians lived in the North, but most fled to the South. It is not known exactly how many Christians remain in North Korea today. There has been some Protestant antagonism toward Buddhism in the 1990s, which has caused difficulties in witnessing to them. 

HOW TO PRAY

Pray for Christians in Korea to be an effective witness of the gospel to Buddhists, making a defense for their faith with gentleness and respect, as directed in 1 PETER 3:15. 

Pray for Buddhists in Korea to have open hearts and minds to seek the Lord Jesus. (DEUTERONOMY 4:28-29) 

Koreans in the United States are far more likely to be Christian, with 71% of Korean Americans identifying as Christian. Pray that they will support and join missionary efforts to Buddhists in Korea. (ISAIAH 52:7) 

Sourced from the Buddhist Prayer Guide

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