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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Korean Protestant Churches` Attitude towards War: With a Special Focus on the Vietnam War

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2004, v.44 no.4, pp.191-222

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Abstract

The modern history of Christianity was witness to an increasing uneasiness with the traditional doctrine of just war. Nonetheless, until quite recently, Korean Protestant churches appeared to know nothing other than just war theory. Korean Protestant churches were, from the time of the Korea War to the present, among the most avid advocates and supporters of war, with two ideological assumptions underlying the their attitude toward waranti-communism and pro-Americanism. The churches approach to the Vietnam War demonstrated how the two ideological concepts brought them to support Korean involvement in it. For them, the Vietnam War was a fundamental part of the global struggle against the encroachment of evil communism, hence necessitating South Korean help to the United States and its allies in defending a free South Vietnam. In supporting Korean participation, churches even canonized it as a holy war or a crusade against evil. Both the pro-American and anti-communist world-views blinded the Korean churches to the post-colonial dimensions of the Vietnam War. However, some churches, from the 1970s, began to move out of this cold war mentality and reevaluate Americas role in Korean history. The divided opinions on the War in Iraq showed that many Korean Christians no longer embrace these traditional views towards Communism or the United States any longer.

keywords
just war Korean Protestant churches anti-Communism pro-Americanism the Korean War the Vietnam War the War in Iraq just war Korean Protestant churches anti-Communism pro-Americanism the Korean War the Vietnam War the War in Iraq

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Korea Journal