World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Member churches / Presbyterian Church of Korea

Presbyterian Church of Korea

Church Family :
Based in : Korea (Republic of Korea)
Present in :
Membership : 2,852,311
Pastors :
Congregations : 8,162
Member Of :
CCA
Associate Member Of :
WCC Member Since : 1948
Website : http://www.pck.or.kr/

The history of the Protestant church in Korea began in 1884, when the first Korean Christian, who was baptized in China by a Scottish missionary, founded a church in North-Eastern Korea. The New Testament was translated into Korean at that time. When the first Presbyterian missionaries from the US arrived in 1884 the Koreans already had the Bible in their own language. From 1884 onwards many missionaries from churches in the West came to Korea. They founded many schools, orphanages, hospitals, etc. The Presbyterian Theological Seminary was founded in 1901. With the devotion of the missionaries, the early Korean Christians were also overflowing with enthusiasm for evangelization and planting churches throughout the country. During that time, there was a special offering called "one day-offering" which meant that Christians happily devoted one day to evangelize. Because of this zeal for evangelism the churches in Korea grew rapidly in the first half of the 20th century.

Under the rule of the Japanese (1910-1945) the Korean church played a leading role in the 1919 independence movement. Koreans went through very hard times under Japanese colonialism. They were forced to worship at the Japanese shrines. Many Korean Christians who refused to do so, as it went against their faith to worship idols, were imprisoned and persecuted.

Overcoming these difficult times the Korean churches have grown up and are now among the biggest churches in the world. The Presbyterian Church celebrated the 120th anniversary of Protestant Christian mission in Korea in 2004. Facing the second century of its history, the PCK decided to change the emphasis of mission from growth in quantity to growth in quality, from the church being missioned to the church missioning. The PCK proclaimed the "Life Saving Movement for a Decade" and decided that the programme should go forward in all the congregations through the year 2012, aiming at unity, peace, social service, human rights, rural and fisheries ministry, medical mission, etc. In memory of the great revival movement of Korean churches in 1907, the PCK has initiated its centennial memorial celebration in 2007. In response to its mission to neighbours in the world, 799 missionaries of the Presbyterian Church of Korea are working in 77 countries.