Korea, South

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Korea, South

Republic of Korea


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Area: 99,067 sq km

Southern half of Korean peninsula. Forested mountain ranges; 22% arable.

Population: 48,500,717    Annual Growth: 0.39%

Capital: Seoul

Urbanites: 81.9%

HDI Rank: 26 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009)


Official language: Korean    Languages: 4 All languages


Largest Religion: Non-religious

Religion               Pop %Ann Gr


Challenges for Prayer

Young people are at a critical juncture in Korea. Increased affluence and a low birth rate have created a coddled generation that feels greater pressure than ever to meet extremely high expectations.

a) There is a notable cooling of spiritual fervour in the younger generation. The Church will have to work hard to retain any of the hard-fought gains of the last several years as the siren call of the world becomes ever stronger. Some state that Christianity is actually declining among young people. Pray for a new awakening that will particularly impact young people.

b) Student ministry remains crucial to disciple young Christians and to share the gospel with non-believers. Pray for more workers among university students. Korea has the world’s highest proportion of adults with post-secondary education (83%). There are 3.6 million students in 408 universities. Several agencies have large numbers of workers involved: UBF, CCCI, Navs, IFES/IVCF, SFC, Joy Mission, YWAM and others.

The missions vision of the Korean Church continues, remarkably, to grow and mature. Over 170 agencies are sending Korean missionaries cross-culturally. The larger Korean agencies are: Global Mission Society, University Bible Fellowship, PC(T-hap), KMCBM, Korean AoG, KBC, InterCP, Paul Mission, Tyrannus International Mission, Korean Evangelical Holiness Church, GMF, GP.

a) Mobilization of young people for missions keeps gaining momentum. God has used Korean young people to spearhead the missions movement in other Asian nations. Mission Korea is a coalition of 24 mission agencies and 11 campus ministries working together for the common goal of mobilizing young Korean adults and college students for world mission; they hold a nationwide conference every two years, attracting over 5,000 young people. Pray that these young people may be at the forefront of missions – by going, praying or giving.

b) A number of new and effective missionary training and orientation programmes have been developed. Some of the many training institutions are: The Center for World Mission (Presbyterian TongHap), Global Missionary Training Center (interdenominational), Kosin MTI, the Missionary Training Institute (Presbyterian HapDong), the Missionary Training Center (Korean Evangelical Holiness Church) and the Global Professionals’ Training Institute (for tentmakers). Pray for effective preparation of Korean missionary trainees, most of whom already have a theology degree or pastoral training.

c) Korean missionaries serving overseas need prayer. The rapid increase in their numbers generates several great needs, most notably member care and collaboration with other missionaries and agencies. The latter issue requires humility and cultural flexibility for Koreans coming from a very homogenous cultural framework.

d) Field strategy must be re-evaluated. What works in Korea does not necessarily work elsewhere, and cultural sensitivity is essential for missions to be effective abroad; Koreans, like other nationalities, can be insensitive to the local context. The kidnapping episodes in Iraq (2004) and Afghanistan (2007) prompted a lot of criticism from the secular media, resulting in much-needed soul searching, reflection and re-evaluation about how Koreans minister abroad.

     For an additional 9 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.

More Information

The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Korea, South.