I stopped by on Friday, Buddha's Birthday (석가탄신일). (I was also there in May 2010 with a German man, but that's a different story...)
Jo-Gye Temple is sort of tucked away. I mean, it's easy to travel within Seoul for a few days and miss it, if you're not aware of it. This is not to say it's small: The compound is quite large; it's just not overly conspicuous. This befits Buddhism, I suppose. It manages to exude a rather tranquil atmosphere in central Seoul, which is an impressive feat.
In fact, my impression from casual observation is that a 20-25% Buddhist population-share seems too high. It may be an accurate figure, but in most parts of the Seoul Megalopolis I am familiar with, Buddhism is almost invisible. Christianity is very visible, which surprises many.
Korea's complicated religious history is hard to untangle (as is much of Korean history, generally), but the idea that Buddhism is "the old Korean religion" (to which 'patriots' adhere) is dubious. In fact, there is arguably much more "racialist-nationalism" from the Christian side in South Korea today.
Now that I know more, I would say the following is true (and this is all anecdotal from my own observations):
(1) Most Koreans are indifferent to Buddhism;
(2) A minority of Koreans are Buddhists or sympathetic to Buddhism;
(3) A larger minority (a % I wouldn't even hazard to guess of the Christians) is hostile to Buddhism, at some
level, on (what appear to be) religious grounds (though I always suspect there is more to that story);
Point (3) leads me to the "contrasting images". The above two photos depict the ("pro-")Buddhist side. The contrast is with an antagonistically-anti-Buddhist side.
A certain kind of Christian was out in force in central-Seoul, taunting the Buddhists. It was something (perhaps) like a group of Muslims in New York City assembling outside a church to mock worshipers entering a church for Easter.
I saw them around Jo-Gye Temple. I presume they were also around other temples. Some had loudspeakers blaring (what I presume to be) anti-Buddhist messages. Others were engaged in other forms of anti-Buddhist activism.
These people are a minor nuisance in many public areas on regular Saturdays, but they were really conspicuous in Seoul on Buddha's Birthday this year. A small team of them I walked past on the way to Jo-Gye Temple was engaged in a loud group-prayer, led by a man in a hat with mic hooked up to a speaker system. The photo is directly below. The prayer-leader was making impassioned pleas for the heathens to turn from the Devil to Jesus (I presume). His voice was full of emotion. These Christians were protected by police to prevent disturbances. Here they are:
Another tactic of the anti-Buddhists was that still-regular-feature-of-Korean-public-life, the "guy in a van blaring messages from a loudspeaker". Here is a shot of one parked at an intersection, blaring messages.