Perceptions of Religious Cults and Korean Traditional Shamanism


  • Lauren Cho Korea International School, Pangyo, South Korea


South Korea, religion, shamanism, perception, impact.


Societal perceptions of religious cults have traditionally been neutral or negative. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, this perception has worsened as religious cults became involved in coronavirus scandals. In South Korea, there have also been rising instances of Shindo-Korean traditional shamanism-being involved with these scandals. This study therefore sought to discover the potential link between the perceptions of Korean citizens on religious cults and their perceptions of Shindo. The study was conducted in South Korea, using a mixed-method approach. The data was collected from a randomized sample of 94 individuals from an online survey. The survey was validated by the AP Research board of Korea International School. The quantitative findings of this study confirmed through a Chi-square test for independence that there is a strong correlation between Korean perceptions of religious cults and Shindo. The qualitative findings discovered that this correlation was based on negative perceptions of both concepts, which were generally formed by external and internal biases. The external biases were recent events involving religious cults and negative media portrayals of them. The internal biases were critical views towards faiths in general, and critical views towards any non-orthodox faiths. These findings hold critical implications for the study of non-mainstream religions in Korea, as well as better understanding the nuances present in societal perceptions of religious and cultural concepts.




How to Cite

Lauren Cho. (2021). Perceptions of Religious Cults and Korean Traditional Shamanism. International Journal of Recent Innovations in Academic Research, 5(7), 78–90. Retrieved from