Daesun Jinrihoe

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Daesun Jinrihoe
Daesun jinrihoe emblem.jpg
Pak Han’gyŏng
Regions with significant populations
Daesun Jinrihoe
Hangul 대순진리회
Hanja 大巡眞理會
Revised Romanization Daesun Jillahoe
McCune–Reischauer Taesŏn Chillihoe

Daesun Jinrihoe (Korean: 대순진리회[1]) is a Korean new religious movement, founded in April 1969 by Park Han-gyeong (박한경) (1918–96).[2][3][4][5] It is a splinter of the syncretic religion founded by Gang Il-Sun (1871–1909, also known as Chungsan Kang). Another splinter is the religion Jeung San Do, which was founded in 1974. Jeung San Do is better known outside Korea, but less widely followed within Korea;[4][6] the two religions are bitter rivals.[5]


Daesun Jinrihoe followers believe that Gang Il-Sun was Sangjenim, or the Supreme God, in human form. Other revered figures include Jesus Christ, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci, buddhas and bodhisattvas.[6]:119

Daesun Jinrihoe teachings are often similar to Confucianism, including an emphasis on reverence, sincerity, and trust, but they diverge from the patriarchy and social hierarchy of that belief.[6] Some followers of the religion believe in a Trinity (similar to the beliefs of another Korean religion, Taejonggyo), made up of Gang Il-Sun, Cho Ch’ŏlje,[5] and Park Han-gyeong.[6]:120 Cho Ch’ŏlje (1895–1958) was the founder of the religion Taegukdo, a precursor to Daesun Jinrihoe.

Followers believe that there will be a "Great Transformation", after which humans will live in a universe with no poverty, disease, or war, and with no need for divine intervention.[6]:121 They have a chant, called T'aeul, which they believe hastens this transformation.[6]:131 The kaebyŏk (개벽, literally "dawn of a new age") or apocalypse has been predicted several times by the group, including in 1984.[5]


Little is known of the founder, Park Han-gyeong, who stayed out of the public eye despite being said to be charismatic by Daesun Jinrihoe's leadership.[5] Park was a follower of Cho Ch’ŏlje in Pusan, and when Cho died in 1958 Park led the "New" branch of his followers. The other branch was led by Cho's son, Cho Yŏngnae. The two branches fought, sometimes violently.

In 1969 Park established a religion that was initially called T’aegŭkchillihoe in Chunggok-dong in Seoul. The religion took on its present name, Daesun Jinrihoe, in 1972.[5] After Park died in 1996 there was a power struggle, because he has not named a successor and he had not been expected to die before the predicted kaebyŏk (apocalypse). In July 1999, 1,500 people from one faction raided the headquarters in Yŏju and drove out Yi Yujong and his followers, and a face-off had to be broken up by riot police. In January 2000, Yi's faction unsuccessfully tried to retake the compound.[5]


Daesun Jinrihoe is known in Korea for building educational and medical establishments,[6] including Daejin University, which was founded in 1992.[5] All well as spiritual activities, they campaign on issues such as the environment, gender equality, reunification of Korea and world peace.[5]

Members are often recruited at large bookstores or on the Seoul underground; they are asked if they are interested in Eastern thought and invited to learn more, without Daesun Jinrihoe being mentioned.[5] Rumors of extortion and violence against opponents are common.[5] Many members work without pay on the religion's projects, and have little sleep.[5]


The religion has a following among Korean housewives, businessmen, and students.[4] It claims a membership of six million,[2] though a 1995 survey by The Chosun Ilbo found it had 67,632 followers (sixth behind Wŏn Buddhism with 84,918 followers),[5] and a 2005 census revealed fewer than 35,000 Koreans claimed a belief in a Chungsan religion, of which Daesun Jinrihoe is one.[6] The survey and census may have underestimated the number of followers due to a lack of a specific category for Daesun Jinrihoe and other new religions, and because followers do not label themselves with a religious affiliation.[5][7]

By the mid-1990s Daesun Jinrihoe had over 1,500 centers, and the headquarters at Yŏju can house 10,000 people.[5] The growth of the religion has been attributed to its nativism, beliefs in magic, messianism and enlightenment, a focus on the present, and the efficiency and hierarchy of the organization.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Also transliterated as Daesunjinrihoe, Daesun Chillihoe, Taesunchillihoe, Daesoonjinrihoe, Daesoon Jinrihoe and Taesŏn Chillihoe
  2. ^ a b Buswell, Robert E. (2007). Religions of Korea in practice. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-11346-7. 
  3. ^ Introvigne, Massimo. "Religions of Korea in Practice: A Summa on Korea's New (and Old) Religions". Center for Studies on New Religions. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Chang, Yunshik; Hyun-Ho, Seok; Baker, Donald L. (2008). "Globalization and Korea's new religions". Korea confronts globalization. Routledge Advances in Korean Studies. 14. Taylor & Francis. pp. 211–€“212. ISBN 0-415-45879-X.  C1 control character in |pages= at position 5 (help)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Jorgensen, John (2001). "Taesunchillihoe: factors in the rapid rise of a Korean new religion" (PDF). Proceedings of the Second Biennial Conference Korean Studies Association of Australasia. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Baker, Donald L. (2008). "The New Religions of Korea". Korean spirituality. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 86–7. ISBN 0-8248-3233-7. 
  7. ^ Baker, Don (September 2006). "The Religious Revolution in Modern Korean History: From ethics to theology and from ritual hegemony to religious freedom". The Review of Korean Studies. The Academy of Korean Studies. 9 (3): 249–275. This apparent gap between the invisibility of Daesun Jinrihoe in religious surveys and its success in fund-raising may be because its members have not adopted modern concepts of religion and religious affiliation. They may still hold on to the traditional assumption that only religious professionals have religious labels and therefore don’t give themselves religious labels when answering questions from surveyors 

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