Buddhism and Society Announced Survey Results
It was revealed that young Koreans in their 20s~30s think that among major religions “Buddhism can contribute most greatly to solving social problems.” Especially in the case of people in their 20s, they said that among major religions Buddhism was “the most trustworthy religion”; on the other hand, according to the survey with regard to the reliability of religious orders for all the ages, Catholicism placed first (27.1%), followed by Buddhism (23.8%) and Protestantism (11.2%).
According to the results of “A National Survey about Korean Society, Politics, and Religion,” which were announced by the Jogye Order Institute for the Study of Buddhism and Society, it was revealed that people consider Catholicism the most trustworthy religion, and it was verified that people in 20s~30s and over 60s, trust very deeply in Buddhism.
This survey was planned to study the social, political, and religious phenomena in general; people’s attitude toward Buddhism; and to ascertain their level of understanding so as to prepare basic materials for disseminating information about the Jogye Order’s policies.
The institute investigated public opinion about topics including △ current social issues and religion △ political phenomena and religion △ the credibility of Korean religions and △ the main current issues in the religious communities. The survey of 1,000 citizens over nineteen years old was conducted by using a telephone survey (for those who were over 50), and an online survey (for those in their 20s~40s). The survey took place between Oct. 11th and Oct. 19th.
Although it was revealed that Protestantism has more social influence (43.3%) than Buddhism (19.1%) and Catholicism (24.1%), when it came to questions asking about the credibility of a religion, and about a religion capable of contributing to solving social problems, the respondents gave preference to Catholicism, Buddhism, and Protestantism, in that order, and so it was ascertained that Catholicism and Buddhism were more trusted than Protestantism. In addition, in response to a question asking about the credibility of Korean Buddhism, the reply showing trust in Buddhism was 66.1%, so it was revealed that people trust very deeply in Buddhism.
In response to a question regarding the financial transparency of religious organizations, 76.6% had a negative view of their transparency. In response to a question about the virtues necessary for a religious organization to gain trust, the answers given were morality (32.1%), integrity (14.2%), fairness (13.8%), and consistency of speech and action (12.6%). From these results we can see that people ask religious communities for a high level of morality and transparency.
“The purpose of this survey is to investigate the details of people’s anguish, to find out how they interact with other groups in Korean society, and to investigate what remedies are available so that they don’t become stuck in the loneliness sometimes caused by Buddhism,” Ven. Beoban, the director of the institute, emphasized. And he added, “I think the results of this survey will help the Buddhist community to perceive people’s attitudes, and will contribute to the self-reflection and renovation that is being carried forward by the Order.”
[불교신문 2872호/ 12월12일자]