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Confidence in Religious Leaders in Korea: A Research Note

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Korea may provide an important testing ground for assessing religious growth as a correlate of religious authority. In Korea from 1985 to 1995, all religious groups experienced growth, but from 1995 to 2005 only the Catholic population did so. Favorable images of Korean Catholicism compared to other Korean religions point to one factor that may account for this trend, namely, confidence in religious leaders. Up to now there has been no empirical test measuring confidence in religious leaders among different religious groups in Korea. Using the 2003–2007 Korean General Social Surveys cumulative data, we found a hierarchy of confidence in religious leaders ranging from highest to lowest as follows: Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, no religion. Our finding may suggest the continued vitality of Catholicism in Korea.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Opinion Research CenterUniversity of Chicago 2: Department of SociologySungkyunkwan University 3: Department of SociologyYonsei University

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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