The spreading of the gospel in Africa mystical teachings at the same time with colonialism and slave trade, hence African people received the gospel with mixed feeling. Many African people believed that the bible is the work of a white man and Christianity a religion of the white people. In the African context religion was based on ancestral worship, familiar spirits, spiritism and occultism, and these became greatest hindrances to gospel penetration in Africa. To isolate themselves from what they thought was a white man’s religion they went about and tried to establish their own African rooted traditional churches which promoted Africanism rather than godliness, of course some of these religions and ancestral worships were there way long before the Christian proclamation in Africa.
In this article, am going to present to you distinguishing factors, characteristics, theologies and practices which I believe led to the Revival and Growth of South- Korean churches. We know that South -Korea has the largest church population in our times and that probably the largest church being in Seoul. Korea is now divided into two separate countries namely North and South Korea. North Korea is a communist state and does not strongly believe in Christianity although we have Christian in that place it still needs to be evangelised effectively. Communism is a great enemy of Christian proclamation just like Islam, through communism and Islam many Christians are persecuted and missionaries martyred especially in Japan, North Korea. Philippines, Nigeria, etc. On the other hand South Korea is a faith based country with a large church population and now one of the leading missionary sending countries in the world. One would like to know how two sister nation differ in terms of approach towards spiritual issues of faith. Comparing two nation’s economies you will be shocked that it’s possible that South Korea is more resourced than North Korea why? Its because when Revival broke forth in South Korea in 1902 it brought about a revolution in the economy of the country. How did this happen? They are causes which we may look closely at which I believe led to the Revival and growth of South Korean churches. Every Korean wishes that 1902 would happen again because its what brought about the challenges and positive things which are now the fruit of that Revival. I tried by all means to research and talk to Korean pastors to hear from their mouth what actually caused the Revival and growth of Korean Churches. Since the Revival in 1902 God has used South Korean missionaries across many parts of the world who are sent into the mission field. Allow me to put down the features and characteristics which I believe led to the Revival of Korean churches comparing to African ministries.
THE MISSION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF KOREAN CHURCHES
South -Korea is well known for a great number of Prayer Mountains. In this country lays the secret of a praying nation which has become their main characteristic and strong weapon for transforming the nation. South Korea has a lot of Prayer Mountains where people go to pray and seek the face of God. At these prayer mountains the sacrifice of prayer is offered at any time of the day. From a distance you can hear loud voices and cries from these mountains as people pray to God According to many Korean missionaries I have spoken to about Korea especially Pastor Samuel Hong Lee a Korean missionary in south Africa, the Korean stability in politics and economical preservations are a result of the prayers offered country wide. Specific prayers are offered for the president, business men and also Korean missionaries in the field world wide. What has made the Korean church differ from the African churches is the mission of the church.
WHAT MAKES KOREAN CHURCH GROW
COMPARED TO AFRICAN CHURCHES
When asked, many ministers will ascribe prayer and committed giving as the cause for the revival. For years, Korean ministers have simply given the Korean church the word of God and the Holy Spirit has done the job”. This is true because many Korean Christians are more biblical in their faith, theology, prayers and practice. I don’t deny the fact that they have their own weakness but church growth is not one of their weakness or problems but African ministries this is a great concern.
All they do is They teach, they pray and God works its that simple.
In order for any mission minded church to succeed in missions, we need to establish a clear mission theology, further I would like to mentions that evangelism and social responsibility must be harmonized, a separation of the two must be regarded as a compromise to the apostolic theology and mission strategy. if we neglect such stewardship, we cannot produce any historical work and fruit of the Holy Spirit from every labours in the mission field. Below I introduce to you features and characters which describes the Korean church and the characteristics of the African churches. we must also that the Korean church has its own weakness and problems but church growth is not one of their problems. below are few weakness which I have identified in the Korean church and Korean missionaries.
Some have noted out that the growth of Korean churches is as a result of conformity rather than repentance and personal faith in God. This is because Christian faith which does not help us change our character and behaviour is not legitimate Christianity.