I have a question

I just finished watching Divine Fury. WHOA! Great movie! Scared the bejeesus outta me! That was too scary for me to watch at night. Had to watch it in the daytime!

Park Seo Joon was really kewl as a butt kicking, didn’t wanna be, exorcist! and OMG!~ Woo Do Hwan! - ¡Es un hombre muy malo! He’s too cute to be such a horrendous, bad guy! YIKES! I was sitting there saying ‘in nomine patris et fili et spiritu sancti’ and holding out my fingers in the sign of the cross. and saying to him, “No! You are the King’s unbreakable sword! You can’t be evil!” lol ( And I haven’t been to mass since Vatican II was forced on the churches in the Bay Area! - decades ago! (Bye bye Latin mass) and oh hey! I can still understand church Latin! who woulda thunk? lol Really good movie!

But anyway, the real reason for this post, is, I have a question. I’ve seen in this movie and other kdramas where there are scenes in a Catholic church, that the ladies wear mantillas. Years and years ago, (decades really) we wore mantillas to mass but not for years now. I haven’t been to church in decades but I feel naked and wrong if my head isn’t covered. Do the ladies really wear mantillas to mass in Korea?

When we were kids, my mom had her gramma’s beautiful, black lace, mantilla in her cedar chest, We would take that out and wear it all the time. I think we finally wore it out. I don’t know who has it now, Probably one of my sisters, the one mom was staying with when she passed.

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According to the book A History of Korean Christianity, it is traditional in Korean Catholic churches for woman to wear the mantilla. I understand that South Korea is the East Asian country with the highest percent of Christians and of those Christicans, Catholics are the largest group.


Yes, it’s amazing how Christianity has been able to encroach in the previously called Hermit Kingdom.

Wikipedia has conflicting information.
In its article about Catholicism in Korea it says:

About 11% of the population of South Korea (roughly 5.8 million) are Catholics, with about 1,734 parishes and 5,360 priests as of 2017. By proportion of a national population and by raw number of adherents, South Korea ranks among the most strongly Catholic countries in Asia after the Philippines and East Timor.
South Korea’s flock saw the largest overall percentage increase in 2014, when it increased by 2.2%. Pope Francis visited the country in August of that year, the third visit by a pope to the country.

However, the article about Christianity in Korea tells a different story:

The practice of Christianity in Korea revolves around two of its largest branches, Protestantism and Catholicism, accounting for 8.6 million[1][2] and 5.3 million[3] members, respectively.

Which numbers are correct?
I went to korea.net and they had this to say:

The 2015 census had smaller numbers and the Protestants were way more than the Catholics as related by the following Wikipedia article:

Religion in South Korea is characterized by the fact that a majority of South Koreans (56.1%, as of the 2015 national census) have no formal affiliation with a religion. Protestantism represents (19.7%) of the total population, Buddhism (15.5%) and Catholicism (7.9%).


A 2016 article by the Diplomat says:

What can be most surprising to a visitor to Korea is that only 29 percent of the population actually identifies as Christian – about three-quarters Protestant, one quarter Catholic. But their zeal is so enormous that it overshadows the 23 percent who are Buddhist, and the 46 percent who say they have no religion at all.
“It is kind of amazing” how zealous Korean Christians are, says Dr. Hwang Moon-kyung, Professor of History at the University of Southern California. “They give you the impression that South Korea is a very religious country when in fact it isn’t. But the ones who are religious tend to be very fervently religious.”

Here is a more recent estimate (2018) from Vatican news (although the source may be a bit biased?)

The number of Catholics has increased by 48.6 per cent, from 3.9 million in 1999 to 5.8 million in 2018 and today they make up 11.1% of South Korea’s some 51 million population.

This said, yeah, we also wore lace kerchiefs in Italy at least until I was 15 (last time I ever had to do anything with religion and going to church). And that was in the '70s. An internet search informed me that since 1983 it is no more a requirement, although there may be some old ladies and some die-hard fanatics of old usage who still probably do. I do visit churches for tourism purposes, but I haven’t been checking the attire of the faithful too much.
Here is an article which cites the reason for the veil. It is infuriating. I felt my blood boil reading it. The most sexist and awful attitude. I thought the veil was cute, but now even if I were Christian I would never wear it. If you know Spanish you would be able to understand most of the Italian.
Here is an excerpt, for those who know the language:

d’ogni uomo il capo è Cristo, e che il capo della moglie è il marito, e il capo di Cristo è Dio. Qualunque uomo preghi o profetizzi avendo la testa coperta, disonora il suo capo; e qualunque donna preghi o profetizzi senza velo sulla testa, disonora il suo capo, poichè, se non si vela la donna, si tagli anche i capelli; e se è turpe per la donna il tagliarsi i capelli e radersi, si veli dunque. L’uomo no, non deve coprir di velo la testa, essendo immagine e gloria di Dio; e la donna è gloria dell’uomo. Poichè non viene l’uomo dalla donna, ma la donna dall’uomo, nè fu fatto l’uomo per la donna, ma la donna per l’uomo. Per questo deve la donna aver sulla testa il segno della sua dipendenza, per via degli angeli.


Interesting! Other than Islam in the southern islands, I would have thought that the Philippines would have a higher percentage of Christians and mainly Catholics because Spain colonized the country for over 400 years.

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Well, Of course! St. Paul was an absolute misogynist! and the paternal church is really anti women unless the women do what the paternal hierarchy wants them to do. - be stupid, clean house and raise kids. I do not agree with the misogynistic tenants of the Catholic church which is why I only attend weddings or funerals there.

(I can hear all the devout communicants praying for my damned soul. Not sure if it is to send the bad girl further down or to ‘improve’ my soul and make it at least acceptable to attend purgatory for the rest of eternity. ) :joy: I got so tired of being told I was going to hell if I didn’t do what ‘they’ said. Like ‘whateves’ man - Not my path.


I meant no disrespect to the Philippines. That’s why I said “East Asia”. But actually I’m not sure geographically what the Philippines are considered. As to Catholics versus other Christian sects, Christians which are not Catholics and therefore “Protestants” have many sects so I think there are more Catholics in Korea than any single Protestant sect such as Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Methodists, Latter Day Saints, etc. Protestants are no way united.

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interesting reading this morning.

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The Philippines are in East Asia, the ‘south east’ part, like Florida is in the ‘south east’ part of the United States of North America. :slightly_smiling_face:

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@porkypine90_261 Wikipedia does not include the Philippines as part of “East Asia” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Asia

And yet on their Philippines page they do say:


Right – the quote mirjam sent says “Southeast Asia” southeast Asia is according to wikipedia “geographically south of China, east of the Indian subcontinent and north-west of Australia.[5]” == So Korea, Japan and China, Taiwan, Macao and the province of China now called Hong Kong are “East Asia” of which Korea has the highest proportion of Christians.

Ah, you’re right. Confusing, haha. :sweat_smile:

um… ok… I guess the Wiki guys never went there then. Balik Bayan was a 19 hour flight for us from San Francisco not including the 4 hour layover in Hawaii. The Philippines are south of Taiwan and Hong Kong and east of Viet Nam. That’s not Southeast Asia? Then where do the Wiki guys think it is? Europe? :rofl:


I was discussing my use of the term “East Asia” when talking about the proportion of Christians in “East Asia”. Not southeast Asia nor northeast Asia, but “East Asia” and I suppose I share whatever “understanding” of the countries it includes as whoever authored the articles in Wikipedia! These are the countries the United Nations defines as “Eastern Asia”: China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Macao, and Hong Kong. Under the UN regional classification, the Philippines are part of Southeastern Asia. https://unstats.un.org/unsd/methodology/m49/


It’s what we used to call, once upon a time, the “Far East”. From a Eurocentric point of view, of course, because in reality they are rather the Far West for Americans.


yeah I do remember that one far East.

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Me too. And then we had Near East and Middle East …