The Presbyterian Church of Korea (TongHap)

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The Presbyterian Church of Korea (TongHap)
Presbyterian Church of Korea logo.gif
Logo of the Presbyterian Church of Korea.
Classification Protestant
Orientation Calvinist
Polity Presbyterian
Moderator Rev. Seong Gi Cho
Associations World Council of Churches,
World Alliance of Reformed Churches,
Council for World Mission,
Christian Conference of Asia,
National Council of Churches in Korea
Region South Korea
Founder Suh Sang-Ryun
Origin 1884 when a church was founded in
Hwanghae province.
Separations Gosin group
Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea
Hapdong faction
Congregations 8,162 [1]
Members 2,852 311[2]
Ministers 10,950[1]
Official website
The Presbyterian Church of Korea
Hangul 대한예수교장로회총회
Hanja 大韓예수敎長老會總會
Revised Romanization Daehan Yesugyo Jangrohoe Chonghoe
McCune–Reischauer Taehan Yesugyo Changnohoe Ch'onghoe

The Presbyterian Church of Korea (TongHap) is a mainline Protestant denomination based in South Korea; it currently has the second largest membership of any Presbyterian denomination in the world.[citation needed] It is affiliated with its daughter denomination, the Korean Presbyterian Church in America (KPCA) in the United States, which adopted the "Korean Presbyterian Church Abroad" as its new name in 2009.

The first Korean Presbyterian minister was Suh Sang-Ryun, who founded a church in Hwanghae province in 1884.[3] Shortly thereafter, several foreign Presbyterian missionaries arrived on the peninsula, including Horace Allen, Horace G. Underwood, and Henry Davies.

Like other Christian groups, the Korean Presbyterians were closely involved in the peaceful March first movement for Korean independence, in 1919.[citation needed]

By 1937, the Presbyterian churches were largely independent of financial from the United States.[4]

Presbyterianism in Korea was reconstructed after World War II in 1947. The church adopted the name the Reformed Church in Korea. In the 50s the church suffered tensions because the issues of theology, ecumenism and worship. In 1959 Presbyterian Church of Korea broke into two equal sections. This church and The Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDong) church separated. In 1984 the church celebrated the 100th anniversary of Presbyterianism in Korea. The church is an ecumenial denomination.[3] Membership is about 2 100 000 and has 6,000 congregations in 56 presbyteries in 2004.[5]

Member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches[6] and World Council of Churches.

The Apostles Creed and the Westminster Confession are the official recognised confessions.[7]

According to the World Council of Churches there are 2,85 million members in 8.200 congregations.[8]

In the 1950s, the PCK was cut off from any remaining believers in North Korea, and three schisms occurred. In the first of these, in 1952, the Gosin group split off. In the second in 1953, the "Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea" separated from the PCK. In the third, and thus far final, schism, the Hapdong faction separated in 1959.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "World Council of Churches - Presbyterian Church of Korea". accessdate=2009-12-18. 
  2. ^ "Oikoumene Member Churches : Presbyterian Church of Korea". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "The Presbyterian Church of Korea : History". Retrieved 2008-04-16. 
  4. ^ Kenneth Scott Latourette, Christianity in a Revolutionary Age: Vol. 5: The Twentieth century outside Europe (1962) pp 414-5
  5. ^ "Adressdatenbank reformierter Kirchen und Einrichtungen". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC)". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Presbyterian Church of Korea : Introduction". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Presbyterian Church of Korea". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Clark, Donald N. Christianity in Modern Korea (University Press of America, 1986)
  • Grayson, James H. Korea—A Religious History (Routledge Curzon, 2002)
  • Kang, Wi Jo. Christ and Caesar in Modern Korea: A History of Christianity and Politics ( State University of New York Press, 1997)
  • Latourette, Kenneth Scott. Christianity in a Revolutionary Age: Vol. 5: The Twentieth century outside Europe (1962) pp 412–23
  • Lee, Timothy S. "A Political Factor in the Rise of Protestantism in Korea: Protestantism and the 1919 March First Movement," Church History 2000. 69#1 pp 116–42. in JSTOR
  • Mullins, Mark, and Richard Fox Young, eds. Perspectives on Christianity in Korea and Japan: The Gospel and Culture in East Asia (Edwin Mellen, 1995)
  • Park, Chung-shin. Protestantism and Politics in Korea (U. of Washington Press, 2003)
  • Harry Andrew Rhodes (1934). History of the Korea mission: Presbyterian church U. S. A., 1884-1934. Chosen mission Presbyterian church U. S. A. 
  • Koon Sik Shim (2008). Rev. Sang-Dong Han, The Founder of the Presbyterian Church in Korea (Koshin): A Biography. The Hermit Kingdom Press. ISBN 978-1-59689-073-2. 

External links[edit]