Can a Church Own a Property? How Is a Church Treated Under Korean Law?

Recently I got a question about legal entity of a church under Korean civil law. The questioner asked “Can a church purchase property?”, “How can a church hold title to property”.

Under Korean Civil Law, a church can be treated as a legal entity so long as it has (i) a internal regulations, (ii) a decision making body, (iii) executive director(s) and (iv) it’s own social activity. If a church meets those requirements, it can hold title to property legally and effectively, and can register the property(immovables such as land, building…) under its name.

Surely a church’s assets(land, building) can be held by individual member(s) of that church or by the third legal entity. In that case, if the church is treated as a lagal entity under Korean law, then the ownership can be interpreted as a trust dor the benefit of the church itself.

© 2008 Wonil Chung, a Korean Real Estate Lawyer/Chung & Partners, a Korean Real Estate Law Firm.  All rights reserved. Some copyrights, photos, icons, trademarks, trade dress, or other commercial symbols that appear on this post are the property of the respective owners.

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