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Korea is a large peninsula jutting into the Yellow Sea from the Asian mainland. Buddhism was introduced into the area from China during the 4th century and went on to become a major influence on Korean life, although it was persecuted after 1170 and disestablished in the 15th century in favour of Confucianism. By the 19th century, Buddhism’s presence was minimal and further weakened by the Japanese colonial administration’s efforts to destroy it by forcing monks and nuns to marry. Since the 1950’s all religions have been completely destroyed in communist North Korea and Buddhism in the south has been severely depleted by conversion to Christianity. It is only in recent years that Korean Buddhism has become better organized, more vigorous, more socially involved and recovering some of its former strength.
Buddhist Culture in Korea, Chun Shin-Yong, 1974.