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Reframing Christianity on Cheju during the Korean War

Reframing Christianity on Cheju during the Korean War The Korean War is known as the most important factor in the reframing of Christianity among the people of South Korea. This paper explores the reframing process in the local context of Cheju Island. Cheju is an interesting region for this research. Its dominant indigenous religions and a historical uprising against Catholics made it highly resistant to the Christian mission. However, Cheju emerged as the most receptive place for the spread of Christianity through its accommodation of North Korean Christian refugees during the Korean War. My analysis argues that the outbreak of the Cheju Massacre in 1948 and the influence of the North Korean Christian refugees that arrived on Cheju during the subsequent Korean War had a critical influence on changing the Cheju locals’ view of Christianity from that of an unwanted foreign power to an instrument for fighting communism. Despite the conflicts that arose with the Christian refugees, those refugees’ influence on the lives of the locals led to a multi-layered acceptance of Christianity. Christianity was viewed as a gracious savior, the means to political authority, and an entry to modern western culture and commerce. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Religions University of Hawai'I Press

Reframing Christianity on Cheju during the Korean War

Journal of Korean Religions , Volume 6 (2) – Nov 19, 2015

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Institute for the Study of Religion, Sogang University, Korea
ISSN
2093-7288
eISSN
2167-2040

Abstract

The Korean War is known as the most important factor in the reframing of Christianity among the people of South Korea. This paper explores the reframing process in the local context of Cheju Island. Cheju is an interesting region for this research. Its dominant indigenous religions and a historical uprising against Catholics made it highly resistant to the Christian mission. However, Cheju emerged as the most receptive place for the spread of Christianity through its accommodation of North Korean Christian refugees during the Korean War. My analysis argues that the outbreak of the Cheju Massacre in 1948 and the influence of the North Korean Christian refugees that arrived on Cheju during the subsequent Korean War had a critical influence on changing the Cheju locals’ view of Christianity from that of an unwanted foreign power to an instrument for fighting communism. Despite the conflicts that arose with the Christian refugees, those refugees’ influence on the lives of the locals led to a multi-layered acceptance of Christianity. Christianity was viewed as a gracious savior, the means to political authority, and an entry to modern western culture and commerce.

Journal

Journal of Korean ReligionsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Nov 19, 2015

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