The government on Saturday posthumously conferred a state medal on late Ven. Jaseung, a former leader of South Korea's largest Buddhist sect Jogye, in recognition of his decadeslong service in the Buddhist community.
Culture Minister Yu In-chon awarded a Mugunhwa Medal of the Order of Civil Merit to the deceased during his visit to the Jogye Temple in central Seoul, where a memorial altar has been set up to pay tribute to the late monk.
The Mugunghwa Medal is the highest of five medals that make up the Order of Civil Merit.
The government said it recognizes Ven. Jaseung's service in stabilizing Buddhism in the country, developing traditional Buddhist culture, harmonizing the religious communities and promoting social integration.
"We thought that he deserves to be given (a state medal) as Venerable Jaseung has done great work in the Buddhist community and played a role as a prominent senior monk," Yu said.
Ven. Jaseung, who served as president of the Jogye Order from 2009 to 2017, was found dead at a burnt dormitory at a temple in Anseong, south of Seoul, on Wednesday, in an apparent self-immolation, or a Buddhist practice of burning oneself alive as an offering to Buddha.
Police have discovered several notes from the monk's car that implied he was about to end his life. (Yonhap)