Korea: Buddhist monks from South to visit North for a religious rite

Seoul has granted permission on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of one of the most important relics of Korean Buddhism. The group, composed of 37 persons, includes the head of the Jogye Order.

Seoul - A delegation of South Korean Buddhist monks, including the head of the largest religious order in the country, will visit North Korea to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of the Tripitaka, one of the most important Buddhist relics in the peninsula. The Unification Ministry in Seoul has granted permission "for purely religious reasons", for the group to meet a delegation of faithful and visit various temples in the communist run North.

This is the first official visit by a non-humanitarian delegation since May 24, 2010, when Seoul placed a total ban of all forms of cooperation with the North. Pyongyang is considered responsible for the sinking of a Southern navy vessel – an attack that killed 42 Korean sailors - and the bombing of a small island where a civilian was killed.

A representative of the Ministry confirmed the permit: "This is a group of 37 people, including the leader of the Jogye Order. The group will leave on September 3 to visit the Bohyun temple in Mount Mohyang. Here, a ceremony will be celebrated with a delegation of North Korean Buddhists. Permission was given for the anniversary of the Tripitaka, which is part of the spiritual heritage of all Koreans. "

The relic is made up of more than 80 thousand blocks of wood, carved 1000 years ago, containing all Buddhist scriptures. It is currently stored at Haeinsa, a temple which is located in South Korea, but was recorded and found in the northern part of Korea. The Kim regime does not allow any religious worship outside cult of the nation’s leader, but some Buddhists – who many believe "false" – are active in the country.

Source: Asia News


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