Thousands of monks rally in Seoul against Prez’s ‘anti-Buddhist bias’
Seoul, January 21 (SocialNews.XYZ) Thousands of Buddhist monks held a rally in Seoul on Friday, demanding President Moon Jae-in apologize for what they called the government’s “anti-Buddhist bias” after a ruling party lawmaker accused the temples of collecting entrance fees from visitors to national parks.
Lawmaker Jung Chung-rai of the ruling Democratic Party has faced a storm of criticism from South Korea’s largest Buddhist sect, the Jogye Order, since he compared the temples collecting “cultural property viewing fees” from a legendary scammer known for selling rivers. water for money, reports the Yonhap news agency.
Temples located in national parks collected 3,000 to 4,000 won per person in fees from all visitors to the park, whether or not they visited the temples.
The temples argue that they are entitled to these fees because the money is used to care for temple property and private spaces belonging to the temples inside the parks.
Friday’s rally, held at the Jogye Order headquarters in central Seoul, drew attention as it came at a time when the presidential race is heating up amid speculation that the Anti-government sentiment among Buddhists could affect ruling party candidate Lee Jae-myung’s chances.
This is the first time in 28 years that the Jogye Order has held a large-scale gathering of monks from across the country on behalf of the National Monks Convention since a gathering in 1994 was called for sect reform. .
“The government must preserve cultural heritages, but now they dare to stir up religious disputes and shift responsibility,” said Ven. Wonhaeng, the head of the Jogye Order, said at the gathering held at Jogye Temple.
In a statement released ahead of the rally, the Jogye Order and attendees called for an apology from President Moon, the enactment of laws to prevent new religious prejudice against Buddhism, and measures to safeguard national heritages.