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Jogye Order emphasizes harmony and peace

Jan. 17, 2012 - 19:00 By Claire Lee
Ven. Jaseung shares his plan for order’s 50th year anniversary

The Jogye Order, Korea’s largest Buddhist sect, will focus on promoting harmony and peace this year, its 50th anniversary.

“It’s easy to say the word ‘harmony,’” said Ven. Jaseung, president of the Jogye Order, at a press conference at the Center for Korean Buddhist History and Culture in Seoul on Tuesday. “But there is a saying that conflicts are unavoidable unless you live all alone by yourself. This is an important year for Korea, as we are ahead of both general and presidential elections. So harmony is important among all other things. ”
Ven. Jaseung, president of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, speaks at a press conference at the Center for Korean Buddhist History and Culture in Seoul, on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)

During his speech, Ven Jaseung expressed concern over increasing crime, suicide and divorce rates, and introduced some of the upcoming programs the order has prepared to ease social problems. They include support programs for the less fortunate, multicultural families and sick children through their public interest foundation “Friends on the Path.”

To promote Korean Buddhism overseas, Ven. Jaseung said the order is preparing to launch an international Buddhist school, more programs for foreign Buddhist visitors, translations of traditional Buddhists texts into foreign languages and improving Temple Stay programs.

On the religious group’s relationship with North Korea, Ven. Jasueng said the order’s view stays the same even after Kim Jong-il’s death.

“Our motto is to live along with the North,” Ven. Jaseung told reporters. “For this year’s upcoming Buddha’s Birthday, we have invited the president of North Korea’s Buddhist federation to join the ceremony in Seoul.”

Other upcoming events on Ven. Jaseung’s agenda include 1,000-day prayers for Korea’s “all living things and peace,” talking and healing sessions for the public, as well as a series of events where Buddhists will try to treat their neighbors as they would treat Buddha.

“The most important thing for us is the happiness and peace of our people,” Ven. Jaseung said. “Those are the two things we’ll keep in mind the most.”

Ven. Jaseung said celebratory events for their 50th year anniversary are scheduled to take place in the fall, as the first half of the year is already filled with other events.

By Claire Lee  (