Korean in China





Largest Religion

Main Language



The Koreans are an official minority nationality in China. They are "a completely unassimilated people who speak and write their own language, operate schools and maintain the society and culture of their homeland."


Koreans have long played an important role in Chinese history. A famous Korean general named Kao Hsien-chih was sent by the Imperial Court to fight the marauding Tibetan armies in AD 741. The Sui Dynasty (AD 589-618) fell soon after three disastrous and costly military campaigns in North Korea. The Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) also fell, partly because the country was bankrupt as a result of the massive cost of defending Korea from the Japanese. The first wave of Korean migrants arrived in China in the late 1600s. Sizable numbers arrived later after a severe famine in North Korea in 1869. "When Koreans first arrived in China, they worked for Chinese landlords who furnished them with seed and all supplies. As this tended to throw the Koreans into debt, many of them frequently moved."


The Koreans - known as Chaoxian in China - boast the highest education rate of any of China's minorities: 43 out of 1,000 attend university. Their rate was twice as high as the national average and close to the 1979 USA level (46 out of 1,000 people).


Most Koreans in China today are atheists. In addition, there are a sizable number of Mahayana Buddhists and Christians among them.


It is not recorded if Nestorian missionaries reached as far as Korean territory during their time in China from the seventh to the fourteenth century, but in 1927 archaeologists excavated a tomb near the present Korea-China border. "They found the remains of seven bodies and at the head of each a clay cross ... they were able to date the grave at between 998 and 1006 by Chinese coins of the Song Dynasty left with the bodies." Today there are estimated to be 600,000 Korean Christians in China, although a 1992 source listed only 122,000. Many Korean Bibles have been smuggled into China from abroad in recent years, in addition to the 189,487 printed by the government sanctioned Amity Press. Many of these Bibles have been carried across the border into North Korea.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Korean
People Name in Country Korean
Population in China 2,515,000
World Population 78,597,000
Countries 46
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chaoxian, Chejumal, Chosun, Chosun Jok, Hanghohua, North Korean, South Korean
Affinity Bloc East Asian Peoples
People Cluster Korean
People Name General Korean
Ethnic Code MSY46
People ID 12795
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country More than two million Koreans live in the northeastern part of China, especially in the provinces of Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Liaoning. Unofficial sources state there are at least three million Koreans in China. More than 74 million Koreans are found worldwide..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
For Primary Language: Korean

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1882-1961)
New Testament Yes   (1887-1983)
Complete Bible Yes   (1911-1993)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Gateway Scripture Text / Printed Matter
Bible Visuals General
Bible-in-Your-Language Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Bibilica Korean Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Revised New Korean Standard Version Text / Printed Matter
Bible: 개역한글 Text / Printed Matter
Cartoon Gospel tract Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Audio Recordings
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Korean Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online New Testament - North (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Online New Testament - South (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
25.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 14.00 %)
30.00 %
Ethnic Religions
30.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
15.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
95.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
1.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
4.0 %
Photo Source: The Masters View / Howard Erickson  
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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