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Evangelical Movement Spreads Throughout South Korea

The Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea claims to be the largest church in the world, and the country is second only to the U.S. in its number of missionaries. NewsHour reports on the spreading evangelical movement in the country.

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  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO, Correspondent, Twin Cities Public Television:

    It's a classic landscape you see in former European colonies in Africa or Asia, but this missionary outpost rises amid rubber trees and sugarcane fields in the ancient kingdom of Thailand.

    The church and the children's home that it runs is headed by a missionary from Korea.

  • REV. JUNG WOONG KIM (through translator):

    As we look back, we realize that we owe a lot to Christianity, and we would like to share it with the rest of the world.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Reverend Jung Woong Kim's native South Korea is better known as an exporter of cars and TVs, but Korea is second only to the U.S. in the number of Christian missionaries it sends to the rest of the world.

    The nerve center of this new evangelism is the South Korean capital. At 4:30 on a frigid Monday morning in Seoul, the parking lot is full and the Onnuri Church at its 9,000-person capacity. In a city that also worships the work ethic, this is how tens of thousands of Koreans begin their workweek.

    Onnuri Evangelical Presbyterian Church began 20 years ago and has seen massive growth, says Pastor Yongjo Ha.

  • REV. YONGJO HA, Onnuri Presbyterian Church (through translator):

    We started with 12 families 20 years ago and have grown into a mega-church of 45,000 registered members. This is the power and work of the Holy Spirit; it's taking place in the heart of metropolitan Seoul.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    And Onnuri is not even the biggest church in the bustling South Korean capital.

    The Yoido Full Gospel Church claims to be the largest single church in the world. Its 800,000 members attend different services across 21 campuses.

  • CHURCH PASTOR:

    Everything is possible for he who believes.

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