Both South and North American countries, as well as other traditionally Catholic states in Europe, have been seeing sharp declines in their ranks in the past few decades, especially in the number of people entering the priesthood and in the falling attendance of members of the congregation at Mass. The Catholic Church throughout the world is in a state of radical transition and is experiencing profound and dramatic changes following the close of the Second Vatican Council II 40 years ago. In contrast, the Catholic Church in Korea is thriving. This study examines the possible causes connected to the increase in membership in the Catholic Church, focusing on sociocultural factors and exploring questions of how these aspects of unique development have been historically and structurally related to the dynamics of Catholicism in Korea and the disparity between external growth and internal maturity.
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