@meena I think I can answer part of your question about Christianity outside the Eurosphere, as a South Korean ex-Christian (culturally Christian atheist), with the caveat that being a Christian is very different elsewhere in East Asia. AFAIK religion is heavily state-controlled in China & forbidden in the DPRK, and in Japan Christianity is a tiny minority religion. Catholicism and Protestant denominations also have different histories in South Korea.

ROK has many many more Chrstians than anywhere in East Asia; between Catholics & Protestants something like a fourth of the population is Christian. Catholicism was originally brought over by Koreans scholars through China; the students of a 17th-century ancestor of mine had a hand in it. Catholicism was something of a reform movement, with communities that challenged the gender & class norms of the day, and suffered persecution. To this day Korean Catholicism tends to be left-wing.

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Protestantism was a later and more missionary-driven phenomenon, brought over by U.S. missionaries from the 19th century. The denominations tend to be heavily influenced by U.S. evangelical churches, and have imbibed the evangelicals' racist, antisemitic, and homophobic prejudices. I was uncritically taught long-discredited racist canards like the Curse of Ham. Major Protestant churches are very right-wing and widely criticized for their corruption & bigotry.

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Unlike early Catholicism, the Protestant denominations always had the power of both the Korean and U.S. governments on their side and that's a big reason why they tend to be pro-establishment, I think. Conveniently though, when Protestant ministers talk about the history of church persecution they always include the Korean Catholic martyrs--even though at other times they won't even recognize Catholics as real Christians 🤔 yeah I have heard some shit in my 2 decades in the church lol.

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Catholic priests and believers, true to form, have been a major force of resistance during the decades of military dictatorship. There have been, of course, and continue to be many Protestant Christian democracy activists and humanitarians (the Northwest used to be the most Christian region in Korea, and some of our greatest medical heroes are Christians from the North who fled persecution), but the Protestant churches as institutions have not always lived up to their believers' highest ideals.

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And of course, things go in the other direction too--you will see the occasional ultra-right-wing Catholic, though his fellow parishioners and the priest probably think he's a weirdo. Again, as a broad generalization, Catholicism is seen as the religion of progressive-leaning people, and outright socialists are not out of place either. Priests & churches have deep ties to labor and environmental movements and often work across faith lines with Buddhists.

Korean Catholicism & homophobia 

Catholicism is still pretty socially conservative though, Catholics tend to be anti-abortion and believe marriage is between a man and woman. What they're not doing is turn homophobia into a rallying platform the way Protestant ministers are doing. Maybe that's just saying they're more genteel in their hatred, idk. I admire their commitment to social justice while recognizing they are imperfect. They don't always fall on a neat division of left vs. right.

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@lj_writes what about, in as far as it applies, race lines?

@meena that is an interesting question that I know lamentably little about. What has been talked about in regard to race & religion in Korea is the rising number of Muslim migrant workers, with the predictable rise in Islamophobia, but there are migrants of other religions as well--African Christians, Filippino Catholics, SE Asian Buddhists. I'm guessing they're not very well integrated into the congregations of their Korean co-religionists, if the general pattern of social segregation holds.

Korean Catholicism & homophobia 

@lj_writes I would say much the same of US Catholics. They're anti-abortion and anti-marriage-equality (and some are anti-contraception), but they're pro-life in other ways, too--anti-war, anti-death penalty, and the like.

I haven't been one in a long time, but I respect their consistency compared to those whose only driving social moré is anti-abortion.

Korean Catholicism & homophobia 

@naga yeah, at least they don't have the common evangelical hypocrisy of being like pro-war and pro-guns but anti-abortion. Also anti-contraception Catholics are evidently a tiny minority, I think Catholic women use contraception at nearly the same rates as other groups? I remember actually questioning my Catholic friends about this dichotomy and they were literally like "That's just the Pope, it's nothing to do with me 🤷" and I was like... ok

Korean Catholicism & homophobia 

@naga @lj_writes a good chunk of US Catholics (including the disgusting governor of Nebraska) have thrown in with the Religious Right(tm) to be pro-death penalty, pro-police/military/war, etc. I couldn’t give a number though

Korean Catholicism & homophobia 

@alpine_thistle @naga Ugh yeah, the U.S. seems to have more of these Opus Dei-ish types and I'm all a) you're nothing like the Catholics I grew up admiring 😭 and b) if you come anywhere near Korea I hope the priests who fought the riot police dunk you in the sea

Korean Catholicism & homophobia 

@lj_writes @naga yeah we definitely still have Catholics on the front lines of the fight against police violence, violence against migrants, death penalty, etc. and I really admire them for that

US Catholicism & healthcare (abortion) 

@alpine_thistle @lj_writes The main social adverse consequence I see with institutional Catholic anti-abortion beliefs in the US is that in many, *many*, places, Catholics run the only general hospitals.

Korean Catholicism & homophobia 

@alpine_thistle @lj_writes Ah, yes. You're right. I think it's a disproportionately noisy minority, though. (As are the extreme Evangelicals, as far as that goes, but they excel at maneuvering for headlines.)

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