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South Korea

Section I. Religious Demography

The U.S. government estimates the total population at 51.8 million (midyear 2020 estimate). According to a 2015 census conducted by the Korea Statistical Information Service, of the 44 percent of the population espousing a religion, 45 percent are Protestant, 35 percent Buddhist, 18 percent Roman Catholic, and 2 percent “other” (including Won Buddhism, Confucianism, Jeongsando, Cheondogyo, Daejonggyo, Daesun Jinrihoe, and Islam). The census counted members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Unification Church) as Protestants. According to the only rabbi in the country, there is a small Jewish population of approximately 1,000, almost all expatriates. The Korean Muslim Federation estimates the Muslim population at 150,000, of which approximately 100,000 are migrant workers and expatriates, mainly from Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan.

International Religious Freedom Reports
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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future