Korea's religious heritage has contributed to the teaching of the Unification Church. Since it first appeared on Korean soil and was nourished by the Korean philosophy of life, the new movement was naturally influenced to some extent by its environment. Just as Eastern Orthodoxy cannot be understood apart from Christian Hellenism, and Roman Catholicism is a product of Latin civilization, so the Unification Church greatly profited from the religious development of its homeland.
Korea's indigenous religion, like that of most early cultures, was a form of shamanism. This original faith has never completely disappeared and still exerts considerable influence. Ancient Koreans believed in a variety of supernatural spirits, both good and evil. But more important was the one supreme Spirit, Hananim, the creator and beneficent ruler over creation. This high God was worshipped at mountain shrines; and to win his favor animal sacrifices were offered at appropriate times. Springtime and harvest festivals were particularly important. For more details, one can look at my book entitled Faiths of the Far East. 1.
For our purposes, it is merely necessary to point out that from time immemorial Koreans believed in the existence of one Lord of heaven and earth as well as numerous lesser spirits. From earliest times Koreans have experienced direct contact with supernatural powers.
Furthermore, shamanism emphasized Korea's unique role in history. Traditionally, Koreans dressed in white, because this symbolized their faith that they were children of the divine light. For centuries the shamans taught that Koreans had been chosen for a special purpose in God's plan for mankind. One should therefore not overlook the religious dimension of Korean nationalism.
Then, as Buddhism spread from India across East Asia, it was planted in Korea. For a thousand years, Mahayana Buddhism, which came via China, was the court religion and popular faith of the Korean monarchy.