Corea a dependency of China. It is an extensive peninsula, bounded east by the Sea of Japan, south by the Strait of Corea, west by the Yellow Sea and the Gulf of Leaotong, and north by Mantchuria. It is governed by a king, who, though tributary to China, exercises virtually an absolute power. The prevailing religion is Buddhism. Confucius also has many followers. The area is about 87,550 English square miles; the population, according to a census of 1793, was 7,342,361, and in 1885 was estimated at 8,500,000. The Roman Catholic missionaries in China and Japan speak of conversions of natives of Corea to their Church in the latter part of the 16th century. In the 17th century one of the kings of Corea was a patron of the celebrated Jesuit Adam Schall. There seems always since to have been some small number of Roman Catholics in Corea, and in 1800 the total number of Christians was reported to amount to 10,000; lut the progress of the Church was prevented by constant persecution. Early in the present century the mission of Corea was placed under the Paris "Congregation of Foreign Missions." The missionaries greatly extol the zeal of the native converts, and report a number of accessions to their Church. Thus, in 1853, the number of catechumens who were admitted to baptism. was stated to be 460. A new persecution broke out in February, 1866. Two Roman Catholic bishops and seven priests, all natives of France, were put to death by order of the king for preaching a forbidden religion. Three others succeeded in concealing themselves, and one of them arrived at Chefoo, China, having been sent by the other two to communicate the sad intelligence. The escaped missionary asserted that there were 50,000 converts in Corea, and that great consternation was produced among them by the fierceness of the persecution. The missionary proceeded to Pekin to invoke the aid of the French ambassador. In October, 1866, the French undertook an expedition against Corea, demanding the punishment of the three principal ministers who instigated the execution of the missionaries, and the conclusion of a treaty guaranteeing the Christians against future persecutions. The expedition was not successful; and in December returned to Shanghai. Mr. Williamson, the agent of the Scottish National Bible Society, wrote in 1866 from Chefoo, China, that he had visited two Roman Catholic natives of Corea who had come to that port. According to their statement, there are in Corea eleven European priests, who visit from house to house. — They have no temples, but worship in private houses. They showed a catechism containing a full statement of their faith, in which Mr. Williamson was delighted to find much truth forcibly expressed. They appeared to be ignorant of any distinction between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, and when Mr. Williamson spoke to them of Jesus, at once saluted him as "holy father." They agreed to act as the guides of the Reverend J. R; Thomas, who offered to accompany them, on their return to Corea, as the agent of the Bible Society. The mission of the Presbyterian board was first begun in 1844. It now has 25 communicants, 6 native helpers, and 25 pupils in school. In 1885 the Methodist Episcopal Church entered Corea. It has 12 foreign workers, 2 native ordained preachers, 4 communicants, 150 adherents, and 63 pupils. The National Bible Society of Scotland published, in 1886-7, two of the Gospels in Corean.

Bible concordance for COR.

Definition of core

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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