Religion in Korean – Vocabulary on the country’s beliefs

There are several religions present in South Korea. In this article, we will discuss how to say “religion” in Korean, along with other related vocabulary. The words and phrases in this lesson can help you practice speaking in Korean and easily understand conversations on the topic.

Two hands pressed together as a gesture of prayer

Let’s start learning!

How to say “religion” in Korean

The Korean word for “religion” is 종교 (jonggyo). We will also be introducing you to some Korean vocabulary and sample sentences related to the matter. As we go through this article, you will notice that the Korean words for specific religions also end with -교 (gyo).

Religion Vocabulary in Korean

Now you’ve been introduced to the different religions dominating South Korea, as well as their background. Perhaps you would also be keen to learn some religious terms with these words related to religion.

(gatollik gyohoe)
Catholic Church
(gaesingyo gyohoe)Protestantism
(luteo gyohoe)
Lutheran Church
(gamri gyohoe)Methodist Church
(jeonggyohoe)Orthodox Church
(chimrye gyohoe)Baptist church
숭배하다 (sungbaehada)
(jeontong munhwa)
(jonggyoui jayu)Freedom of religion
(jonggyo saenghwareul silcheonhada)
Practicing a religion
(jonggyojeokin mideum)Religious belief
(jonggyoe gwiuihada)Turn to a religion, be converted
(Xreul mitda)To believe in X religion
(jonggyoreul yeonguhada)To study religion

“God” in Korean

The word “god” in Korean can be expressed in a number of ways. You can say it as 하느님 (haneunim) if you’re talking about the god above the sky.

You can use 신 (sin) if you are referring to a god of something. For example, 사랑의 신 (sarangui sin). This means “god of love.”

On the other hand, you can also say 하나님 (hananim) if you’re talking about “the one and only God.” This is usually used by protestant Christians.

“God bless you” in Korean

There are a few ways to say “God bless you” in Korean, depending on who you are speaking to. You can say it in a formal or informal way.

“God bless you” in Korean (Formal)

To  say “God bless you” in Korean in a formal way, you can use either 하나님이 당신을 축복하십니다 (hananimi dangsineul chukbokasimnida) or 당신에게 신의 축복이 있기를 빕니다 (dangsinege sinui chukbogi itgireul bimnida).

“God bless you” in Korean (Informal)

You can also express it informally by saying 하나님이 너를 축복하셔 (hananimi neoreul chukbokasyeo).

“Jesus” in Korean

The name of Jesus is expressed as 예수 (yesu), and Jesus Christ is 예수 그리스도 (yesu geuriseudo) in Korean.

“Buddha” in Korean

The name of Buddha is expressed with the words 석가모니 (seokgamoni) and 부처 (bucheo) in Korean.

However, 부처 (bucheo) is normally used in the name of holidays related to Buddha.

For example, 부처님 오신 날 (bucheonim osin nal). This is the holiday name for Buddha’s Birthday.

“Allah” in Korean

The name of Allah is expressed as 알라신 (allasin) in Korean.

“Pray” in Korean

There are 2 Korean words you can use to say “pray.” You can use 기도하다 (gidohada) when you’re praying for something or someone.

For example, 당신의 안전을 위해 기도합니다 (dangsinui anjeoneul wihae gidohamnida).

You’ll use 기원하다 (giwonhada) when you simply want, hope, or wish for something.

For example, 저는 평화를 기원합니다 (jeoneun pyonghwareul giwonhamnida).

“Church” in Korean

The Korean word for “church” is 교회 (gyohoe).

If you want to talk about a specific religion’s church, such as “Catholic church,” then you can say it as 가톨릭 교회 (gatollik gyohoe).

“Blessing” in Korean

The word for “blessing” in Korean is 축복 (chukbok).

“Christian” in Korean

You can say “Christian” as 기독교인 (gidokgyoin) or 기독교도 (gidokgyodo).  Another common Korean term used to say “Christian” is 크리스천 (keuriseucheon).

To further practice the vocabulary above, here are some sample sentences that you can use.

(jonggyoga isseuseyo?)Do you have a religion?
(eotteon jonggyoreul mideoyo?)What is your religion?
(naneun luteogyo sinjayo.)I am a Lutheran.
(illyoilmada gyohoee gaseo jonggyo saenghwareul silcheonhaeyo.)I practice my religion by going to church on Sundays.

Wrap Up

That’s it for the vocabulary related to religion in Korean. If you’d like to know further about the different Korean religions and religious beliefs in the Korean peninsula, we also have a separate article for it.

If you’d like to learn the interesting superstitious beliefs of Korean people, you can head on over to this article.

Is your religion also on our list above? Let us know in the comments below! We hope you learned a lot about religion and South Korean culture in general in this article.


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