‘Serving Two Masters’: Protestant Churches in Korea and Money

Gil-Soo Han, Joy Han, Andrew Kim

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Materialism or religio-economic entrepreneurship has been a primary impetus for the explosive growth of Protestant churches in Korea, especially since the 1960s, when rapid industrialisation began to propel Korean society into tremendous economic prosperity. However, since the early 1990s, there has been stagnation, even decline. The primary aim of this article is to identify the most pressing problems facing the Korean Protestant churches and show how these problems have begun to render them less vibrant and possibly to bring about decline in their membership. More specifically, the article identifies how materialism, having deeply penetrated Korean Christianity, led it first to grow and then decline; thus robbing it of its requisite or intrinsic organisational characteristics–being the light and salt of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-360
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal for the Study of the Christian Church
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Church decline
  • Church growth
  • Church individualism
  • Korean Protestant churches
  • Materialism
  • Over-supply of clergy
  • Religio-economic entrepreneurship

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