Friday, December 4, 2009

New Leader of the Korean Buddhists

The new head of Jogye Order, the biggest Buddhist group in Korea with 2,501 temples and 13,860 monks is Ven Jaseung. He has stated that he will work for a revival of Buddhism, the times need and the citizens will support: "make the order more open to the Buddhist community, make plans for providing care for aging monks and nuns, and to increase the scope and awareness of Korean Buddhism in Korea and internationally through education."

He mentioned the poll that was made in Korea under Protestant auspices placing Buddhism in third place in public confidence. "Buddhism to be born again with another face requires that the monks change," he said.

The day before he was installed as the head of the order he visited St. Joseph's Hospital to give financial assistance. The hospital is administered by the Catholic Church taking care of street people and sick travelers. He made the visit as a sign of willingness to dialogue with other religions and to see what he can learn from them. He envied the work that was being done and will be visiting some of the Buddhist facilities to serve in some capacity.

He mentioned the problems that the Buddhist had with the government last year. Buddhist- like, he said the government did not realize how detrimental their position was to Buddhism. He distinguished civil servants from the government saying the civil servants did not know what trouble they were causing by their favoritism.

He won the election with 91% of the votes. The largest in the history of the order.

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