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Recognition of religion or belief in South Korea

According to the standards set out in the SRR, conditions for RoRB in the Republic of Korea are classified restrictive.

Recognition of religion or belief in South Korea


  • Recognition and registration are amalgamated with a focus on the latter, particularly the bestowal of tax-exemption as the primary benefit of legal registration.

  • However, there does exist a semblance of existential recognition for Protestantism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Cheondoism, Confucianism and Korean native religions through their representation in the Korea Conference of Religions for Peace; the breadth of this entity to engage with the MCST in engaging interfaith dialogue should be expanded to include all belief systems and their denominations in order to become dynamic; at present, this entity remains receptive only.

  • Informational requirements of religious groups seem fairly intrusive and could be used against groups at a later date which violates the Durham principles.

  • The contingency of the registration of religious organisations on financial quotas is restrictive and again violates the spirit of the Durham principles.

Positive elements:

  • There are appropriate tax-exemption provisions for religious organisations.

  • There are appropriate subsidies provided by the state to support the upkeep of often costly historic sites such as churches, temples and shrines.

  • There are provisions set in place for human rights violations to be reported and investigated by the state.


  • To become receptive, remove restrictive financial quotas and intrusive informational requirements from the registration process.

RoRB Topic
RoRB Compliance
RoRB Classification
Country or territory
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