SEOUL, May 29, 2013–South Korea’s Catholic Church keeps on growing. According to its data for 2012, the number of Catholics in South Korea was 5,361,369, at the end of the year, an increase of 1.6 per cent over the previous one. This accounts for 10.3 per cent of the total population.
Between 2011 and 2011, the total number of Catholics in South Korea rose on average of 2-3 per cent a year, or 84,959 members and 17 new parishes last year.
The Archdiocese of Seoul is the most populous with 27.1 per cent of all Catholics in the country, followed by the Diocese of Suwon (15.1 per cent), the Archdiocese of Daegu (8.8 per cent), and the Diocese of Incheon (8.7 per cent).
The combined number of the faithful in the country’s metropolitan areas (Seoul, Suwon, Incheon and Uijeongbu) accounted for 55.9 per cent of the whole Catholic community.
The number of marriages celebrated in the church totaled 20,712 in 2012. Of this number, 12,506 cases were marriages between baptised and a non-baptised.
The number of faithful who received the Sacrament of confession dropped by 4.6 per cent from the previous year. Similarly, the number of the newly baptised in 2012 was 132,076, a decrease of 1.8 per cent from the previous year.
The clergy is up though with the ratio of priest to faithful at 1-to-1,149. On average 1,233,114 Catholics or 22.7 per cent of the total went to Sunday Mass. (AsiaNews)