Praying with lanterns (lets.book/Flickr)
The first Koreans to be introduced to Islam were those who moved to northeastern China in the early 20th century under Japan's colonial policy.
A handful of converts returned home after World War II, but they had no place to worship until Turkish troops came with the United Nations forces during the Korean War (1950-53) and allowed them to join their services.
Korean Islam's inaugural service was held in September 1955, followed by the election of the first Korean Imam (chaplain). The Korean Islamic Society was expanded and reorganized as the Korean Muslim Federation in 1967, and a central mosque was dedicated in Seoul in 1976.
* Editor's note: Romanization of Korean words has been modified to match the McCune-Reischauer system used in this guide.
© 2001 Korean Information Service (KOIS). Reprinted by permission. www.korea.net