South Korea has one of the proportionately highest Christian populations in East Asia with just under a third of Koreans identifying themselves as Protestant, Catholic or one of the many other weird and wonderful Christian sub-groups. This has caused tension in recent times, especially between the Christian and Buddhist communities as Buddhists have felt that current president Lee Myung-bak’s very public Christianity has left them unfairly victimised at times. Now, university students (traditionally at the heart of a lot of social change and protest in Korea) have started to respond by setting up “Atheist Clubs” at top Korean universities to try and curb some of the ever-growing evangelicalism in the South.
Atheist clubs gaining ground in university campuses
As religious proselytization increases on university campuses, college atheist clubs are also on the rise. In recent days KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute for Science and Technology) and Seoul National University have seen the formation of atheist clubs and there is a growing call for one at Jungang University as well.
Since the conferment of honorary doctoral degree by KAIST to a founder of an institute that denies evolution and promotes creationism, the debate among students grew apace. One graduate student, Mr Song (24), felt the need for space for communication and sophisticated debates among atheists. His club, “Free Thinkers” waits now for approval by the university for full club status. Song’s objective is to counter pseudo-scientific and irrational claims within KAIST, a premier educational institution in Korea for science and technology. He said “the debates and other academic activities will take the center stage” in his club.
Seoul National University students are also preparing for an atheist club. Industrial engineering student Mr Lee (22) started a blog calling for an atheist society, which has attracted 14 members so far. Lee says that “it seeks to mitigate damages by excessive Christian missionary activities by putting posters and starting debates on the campus”. Mr Park of Jungang University has also seen the intranet postings for atheist gatherings.
Atheist clubs are widespread in American and European campuses. Their webpages declare their goal as “founded upon scientific rationality, atheism, humanism and strives for providing space for the communication”.
Catholic University Emeritus Professor Oh, who writes on the subject of religious sociology says “there seems to be a strong reaction against fanatical proselytizing activities on campus”, adding “the influence by the atheistic evolutionary scientists such as Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett is undeniable”.
Comments from Daum:
Atheist is a derogatory term – at least call them natural or rational-thinking people
Atheists are always willing to abandon their logic in the face of new scientific evidence… but Christians, by faith, deny everything –– even in the face of certain evidence. Believing without seeing, believing without listening… the most obvious case is the president… ke ke ke
The descendants of Dangun [the mythical founder of Korea] belong to the land of Dangun. Dogbraham’s descendent belongs to Dogsrael. Dogbraham’s descendents: fuck off back to Dogsrael!
Not sure God exists… but Christians are being so annoying that God, in my mind, has disappeared
As the movement to private wealth using religion grows, evil in society will grow as well. Atheists are checking that kind of movement and it is plenty persuasive. Their god, our god, my god, everyone’s freedom to belief should not trampled on and their mission should not be so in-your-face. Here’s to the day that everyone can learn about God properly and enjoy freedom of belief. Please do not turn into an interest group.
If all that happens in the world is the will of God, one will have to acknowledge that wars, famines, massacre, tragedies etc were all committed by God. If such a god exists, we must rid of him. It only goes to show that we are not interested in the suffering of the weak. If you were on the battle grounds of the Vietnam war, and that all wars are caused by God, you will have to accept my opinion.
Because of Protestants countless homes have been wrecked. Hate the ancestral worship, hate the ethnic holidays, hate them all
If someone were to ask me what my three wishes would be, my first would be to wipe out all the Protestants. My second is: wiping out the Protestants. My third is… the total eradication of all Protestants…
Protestants are brainless and shameless. Once you have to deal with them your life is ruined
This is a sign of civilization progressing
There is no true religious man and only those trying to cash in their religion, only merchants of religion. No genuine clergic and only false men of religion are out there.
To be honest, the religious problems at universities are only confined to the Christians… No real need to bad mouth all religion.