Ramdan and Muslims in Korea

For those who don’t have access to youtube, please click here for the video.

South Korea’s international English language Television network Arirang in its program Korea Today, gives coverage to Muslims in Korea who are looking forward to Ramdan.

Currently a minor proportion of Muslims are residing in Korea and their number in increasing.

Connie Lee, the current news reporter at Arirang talks about Muslims in Korea and the month of Ramdan. “There are 13,5000 Muslims in Korea right now which includes foreigners and Koreans.” Lee states. “Korean Muslims account for 35,000” she adds.

The video highlights the experience in lives of Korean Muslims during month of Ramdan. Zahid Park Hyun-Bong, a convert and also Deputy secretary general of Korean Muslim Federation talks about the clash of differences between him and his family after embracing Islam.

Seoul Mosque was the first mosque built in Korea and Muslims have been gathering there since 1976. Today there are around 11 mosques nation wide. Lee says that at the mosques, Muslims feel at home and at peace. A. Rahman Lee Ju-hwa, the Imam of the Korean Muslim Federation, highlights the Muslim traffic at Seoul Mosque in month of Ramdan. “Seoul Mosque is the main mosque in Korea, so we always expect many people for the Ramdan period.”

When asked about the reason behind Koreans converting to Islam, Lee believes that many of them first studied the religion out of curiosity either hearing about it in the Media or through the ongoing wars in Middle East. “But after studying the religion itself, they say that they realized that Islam is not about violence or war but its more about peace.”

Lee also talks about the Iftar (Breaking of fast at sunset) and the culture of Muslims which involves families gathering at Iftar to break fast.

Since iftar involves variety of food products, the Korean niche market has shown interests in targeting Muslims. Lee says that there are a lot of Korean companies launching products targeting Muslim countries which has resulted in an increase in exports for Korea.

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