CBCK News


The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (President: Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il) published Statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea 2012 on May 3, 2013.




According to the Statistics as of December 31, 2012, the number of Catholics in Korea was 5,361,369, an increase of 1.6% (84,959) over the last year. This accounts for 10.3% of the total population. The total number of Catholics in Korea has slightly and consistently increased at a yearly average of 2-3% during the past 11 years.


Of the 15 dioceses and the Military Ordinariate in Korea, the Archdiocese of Seoul was the most populous with 27.1% of the total Catholics in Korea, followed by the Diocese of Suwon (15.1%), the Archdiocese of Daegu (8.8%), and the Diocese of Incheon (8.7%). The combined number of the faithful in the metropolitan area (Seoul, Suwon, Incheon and Uijeongbu) accounted for 55.9% of all the Catholics in Korea. In terms of the percentage of the Catholic population compared to the local population, the Archdiocese of Seoul was ahead of others with the rate of 13.8%, followed by the Diocese of Cheju 11.9%, the Diocese of Cheongju 11.1%, the Diocese of Suwon 10.6%, and the Archdiocese of Daegu 10.4%.


According to the Statistics, the number of newly baptized in 2012 was 132,076, a decrease of 1.8% from the previous year. The number of infants baptized amounted to 25,141, a decrease of 2.2% from the previous year.

The Statistics also indicates that the number of clergy in Korea in 2012 amounted to 4,788, with 34 bishops, including one Cardinal. There were 4,578 Korean priests and 176 foreign priests. 131 priests were newly ordained in 2012, a decrease of 7.6% from the previous year. The number of the faithful per priest was 1,149. The number of seminarians was 1,540, a decrease of 3.0% from the previous year.


The number of parishes in 2012 was 1,664, an increase of 17 over the previous year, while the number of mission stations was 796, an increase of 3 from the previous year.


With regard to men and women religious, there were 1,569 men religious, including novices, religious in temporary and perpetual vows as well as foreign religious, while there were 10,167 women religious.


The number of marriages celebrated in the Church amounted to 20,712 in 2012. Of this number 12,506 cases were marriages between a baptized and a non-baptized person. The number of the faithful who received the Sacrament of Confession was 4,894,960, a decrease of 4.6% from the previous year. The average rate for Sunday Mass attendance was 22.7% of the total Catholic population in Korea, a decrease of 0.5% from the previous year.


101,792 primary students attend the Sunday school of each parish, while 60,449 secondary school students attend the same school.



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