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

“To Capture Minds and Wills”: Establishing Christian Radio Broadcasting in Cold War South Korea

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2020, v.60 no.4, pp.143-168
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2020.60.4.143
Paul S. Cha (University of Hong Kong)
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Abstract

HLKY was the first civilian-owned radio station in South Korea. It started broadcasting in 1954 and served as an important source of information for the South Korean population during the early decades of the new nation. Though it was a Christian station, HLKY’s programming was not limited to religious topics; it devoted airtime to world news, dramas, music, and general educational programing. HLKY occupies an important place in the history of radio broadcasting in South Korea, but its origins and planning are still poorly understood. Drawing on heretofore largely unexamined archival sources, this article details the establishment of HLKY. Particular attention is paid to the missionaries who, under the aegis of the Foreign Missionary Conference of North America (FMCNA), led the planning and early administration of the station. The founding of HLKY reflected both struggles among the major mission societies to maintain ecumenical cooperation in the face of theological fissures and a desire to cultivate a form of Christianity that could address, in a practical manner, the social and economic decay that were pervasive around the globe in the post-World War II period.

keywords
HLKY Christian radio broadcasting Cold War Korean Protestantism Korean War communism FMCNA Protestant ecumenism

Korea Journal