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The Religious-Political Aspirations of North Korean migrants and Protestant Churches in Seoul

The article highlighted the specific goal of Seoul that is implied in the experience and is done by the North Korean migrants, who have arrived in China, the city of divided Korea. The study pays attention to the role of the protestant church, which is highly influenced by these refugees and the rituals they perform, which leads to the negotiation of the political-religious factors and their future goals. The author discusses the change of North Korean migrants into Christians. Two different migrant activities have been discussed, which include leaflet campaigns and music concerts. It details the performance rituals of peace and violence which explain the religious and political steps taken regarding the cold war in Seoul.

The religious-political discussion that took place in Seoul. The rivalry between Pyongyang and Seoul is discussed, and the nature of both cities toward religious and political beliefs is also considered. The impact of their religion is due to this approach. This rivalry has affected not only the physical development of the cities but also the ideology of both cities. While both cities are considered to be the best, in terms of armed forces, each of the cities has been hyper in controlling the lack of ideology, opinions, and political influences. Pyongyang was considered the “Jerusalem of Asia” by the American school of thought. But, now it has been to the Juche ideology. Seoul is known for its idol worship thoughts in the present day.

The study also focuses on the spiritual beliefs, each of the cities follows. In the past years, Seoul has stuck itself in the military rise and ideological issues in society. The North has defended its anti-communist approach and declined any thoughts from the South. The south is more concerned about any bombing from the North, instead of any shopping malls being closed. However, with this mismatch of the national defense, the high protestant churches have made rituals to protect their salvation against any communist activities. The northern migrants have also converted themselves and become the leaders to protect their warfare in terms of human rights and national beliefs.

In the study, the author talks about a migrant who converts, known as David. He is as old as fifty years old and has been a leader in controversial ritual activities in North Korea. He left his home in the west and came to the North, to carry out missionary activities. He used to send balloons containing leaflets and items to the Korean border. David was a scientist, but now he is known for the Christian activities he performed. Unlike other migrants, he fled to the South in search of finding the truth. But, there he found a leaflet, near the northern border, from which he was involved in the Juche ideology.

These leaflets might be one of the propaganda, made by the South Korean intelligence to make a psychological warfare. These drills have been in process for decades when the ceasefire between North and South was already in progress. The balloon leaflets often contained images of naked women, which was believed to be disturbing, by the intelligence agents in the north.

However, the author of this study analyzed deeply the differences between the south and north of any region can have, and how it impacts the vast majority of the society. The belief of one individual can have a huge impact. Practices done by the North and South Korean regions tend to have developed different ideologies and make assumptions about the other side. With-U and leaflet campaigns described in detail can also tell about the war between the two sides, which was developed in the name of religious and political affairs.


Jung, J. H. (2016). The religious-political aspirations of North Korean migrants and Protestant Churches in Seoul. Journal of Korean Religions7(2), 123-148.



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