Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Studies Major in European Studies

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts


International Studies

Thesis Adviser

Ron Bridget T. Vilog

Defense Panel Chair

Carlos M. Piocos, III

Defense Panel Member

Mark Iñigo M. Tallara
Brian U. Doce


In 2019, the number of Overseas Filipino Workers (hereinafter, “OFWs” or “Filipino workers”) surpassed 2 million. The Republic of Korea (hereinafter, “South Korea” or “Korea”) has generally been welcoming more OFWs than other nations, particularly in 2014 and the trend continued in 2019, when South Korea expected to accept 56,000 foreign workers due to the chronic shortage of laborers in various industries. This continual increase is attributed to young Korean workers unwilling to perform jobs available in 3D (Dirty, Demeaning, and Dangerous) sectors. Last 2004, South Korea introduced the Employment Permit System (hereinafter, “EPS”), which is an example of a program of non-seasonal temporary labor migration which operates through Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter, “MOU”). It functions to help governments of countries involved in the recruitment, selection, placement, protection and work-related benefits of migrant workers bound for Korea. However, ensuring a smooth and ethical migration process could not be done under the care of state-level institutions alone. Therefore, non-government organizations were established in Korea to support OFWs in the country. Such groups were primarily constituted by Protestant churches, also known as faith-based organizations (hereinafter FBOs). Since Filipinos are mostly religious, OFWs in Korea tend to rely on and receive support from FBOs.

Utilizing the narratives of FBO pastors and leaders and those of OFWs, this study examines the development of Protestant FBOs in Korea, the nature of aid they give, and their efforts with other diaspora institutions. It also examines the effects of the FBOs’ endeavors on the OFW community and the latter’s response to them, particularly those working in manufacturing industries.

The emergence of Protestant FBOs in Korea was necessitated by social, cultural, and political factors, especially the need for spiritual guidance and opportunities to practice one’s religion. Despite this, protestant FBOs in Korea face challenges in finance, manpower, and facilities. As a result, NGO’s and other institutions combined their efforts with FBOs and were able to provide qualitative religious and non-religious support to OFWs. This led to dramatic improvements in the working and living conditions of OFWs in Korea. FBOs also played crucial roles in reshaping the religious identities of OFWs. However, OFWs still experience work and life challenges in Korea.

Abstract Format






Physical Description

202 leaves


Religious institutions--Korea; Protestant churches--Korea; Foreign workers--Philippines; Filipinos--Employment--Foreign countries; Korean diaspora

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