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10.32 million Buddhists and 41,360 bhiksus & bhiksunis

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Writer admin Date20 Jun 2006 Read7,999 Comment0

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Total number of Buddhist temples and churches in Korea is 91,833 in December of 2005. It has been totalized that the number of Protestant churches is 60,785 which shares the largest percentage, while that of Buddhist temples is 22,072 including Traditional temples.

But, on the other hand, according to Census 1995, the Buddhist population is 10.32 million (23.2%), resulted in the largest korean religious group. In addition, the number of Buddhist bhiksus & bhiksunis has been totalized to be 41,360 which is 2 for each temples on the average.

These facts are based on ’White Paper on Cultural Policy 2005’, issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism at May 17, 2006. It is the filed result of last year’s cultural policy as well as 3 years of Participatory Government activities.

In addition to the present status of korean religion, the White Paper also includes the Inter-korean religious exchange status since ’Instruction on Inter-korean Exchange and Cooperation’ was completed in 1989. According to the report, average number of Inter-korean religious exchange was 1 person a year from 1989 to 1997, but it has jumped up to 3224 on the yearly average since 1998, when the Participatory Government started.

Nevertheless, the Inter-korean religious exchange seems to have a limit practically. The White Paper points out "to think of North Korean situation which does not admit religious freedom, Inter-korean exchange efforts just end up with consultation in most cases, except humanitarian assistance. Thus we need to expand the exchange opportunities continuously by assistance on self-regulating religious cooperation, recognition on North Korean religious status and expansion of assistance by the religious groups."

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