chapter six
Koreans: An “Institutionally
Complete Community”
in New York
Pyong Gap Min

Go to any part of New York City where a sizable number of Koreans live and you are bound to find many Korean churches. This was apparent when I was house hunting in the Flushing-Bayside area of Queens this past winter. Virtually every neighborhood in the area, I found, has a Korean church within a two-mile radius. Altogether, there are ninetytwo Korean churches in Flushing and another fifteen in Bayside.

And this is only one neighborhood in the city. The Korean Churches Directory of New York published in January 2000 listed 555 churches in the New York–New Jersey metropolitan area. Given that some recently established Korean Protestant churches and sixteen Korean Catholic churches are not included in the directory, there may be nearly 600 Korean churches in the metropolitan area serving a Korean American population (including the second generation) of perhaps as many as 180,000 people. In both their number and their social functions, Korean churches are the most important ethnic organizations in the New York Korean community. Yet many other important ethnic organizations flourish as well.

-173-

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