RRKOR Final paper - Jin Kim ANS 340 Professor Oppenheim...

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Jin Kim ANS 340 Professor Oppenheim Final Independent Paper Throughout the semester we have learned about religions and rituals of Korea, many of them being archaic and ancient. And for a change, I decided to delve into something current and international; in this paper, I would like to write about the relationship between Christianity and Korean Americans and how social factors is a huge influence on those Korean Americans to attend Christian churches and believe in Christianity. Today in America, it is increasingly difficult to tell what a “Christian” or a “Buddhist” looks like. Race and ethnicity are no longer the determining factor of someone’s religion since they come in all colors. Nonetheless, majority of Korean Americans share the same religion with native-born Americans – Christianity. And according to a recent demographic report, there were approximately 1.7 million Korean Americans residing in the U.S and amazingly,
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more than 70 percent of them are Christians compared to the fact that only 20 percent of Koreans are affiliated with Christianity in Korea; this attests that Christianity has a huge influence on Korean Americans. The question I have consistently asked regarding this data is how this large number of Korean Americans came to believe in Christianity and what drove them to it. Since the advent of two American missionaries, Henry Appenzeller and Horace Underwood, in 1884, Christianity in Korea constantly grew but has been viewed with contempt by many people; there are many Christians in Korea, but equally many anti-Christians as well. But what led them to really believe in Christianity as they came overseas to the U.S.? I believe that this is due to the difference in the meaning of the religion in one land to another. They found that Christianity means more to them in the new land than it did in their homeland; “what was carried as cultural baggage becomes in the new home the religious center of existence” (Kwon 4). Christianity is a literally national-religion in America and with Christianity, the Korean Americans tried to adjust and belong
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RRKOR Final paper - Jin Kim ANS 340 Professor Oppenheim...

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