UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

A generational shift in the Catholic missionary groups : Catholic missionaries’ struggle confronting protestant power in P’yŏngan province Choi, Sun Young


This thesis explores the situation of the Catholic missionaries in P’yŏngan Province from 1896 to 1936. In this region, Protestants won exceptional success. Confronting this challenge, French missionaries moved into that province and carried out missionary work in this region up until 1922. From 1923, American missionaries replaced them and assumed responsibility for Catholic activities in the same region. French missionaries who witnessed how successful Protestants were in that area saw them as competitors. Conflicts between them over land ownership (the P’yŏngyang Land Affair) reveal how serious that competition was. This study also investigates the difference between the Catholic community and the Protestant community in the use of medical services in missionary activities. Catholic missionaries had only medical clinics while Protestant missionaries had physician specialists and hospitals. I also examine the shortage of resources for the Catholic Church. They did not have enough funds or missionaries and this shortfall had a negative effect on their missionary work in this Province. French missionaries found themselves unable to handle the various mission tasks in the region and they finally decided to invite another missionary group to support mission work for this region, the Marynollers, an American missionary order. Those American missionaries also recognized the success of Protestant missionaries in P’yŏngan Province. Their missionary achievements stimulated American Catholic missionaries to try even harder to promote Catholicism in that part of Korea. The American missionaries attempted to cultivate Korean seminary students, publicize Catholicism to non-Catholics and encourage those who were already Catholic believers by publishing a local magazine. Their style of missionary work was different from that of French missionaries. Both the local Catholic believers and the American missionaries had a strong sense of belonging to a minority even in their own home country. This shared sentiment of the American missionaries and the Catholic believers in P’yŏngan Province helped them understand each other and work together effectively.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada