Extra! Korea

November 2, 2010

Korean Christians intruded into Buddhist temples in Myanmar too

Filed under: Buddhism, idiots, multicultural society, rapid cultural change — extrakorea @ 10:11 am

You might remember this story, which described how Korean Christians had entered Buddhist temples in Seoul and Daegu and behaved disrespectfully.

It turns out that Korean Christians had intruded into Buddhist temples in Myanmar as well.

Korean Internet users quickly revealed another online video clip in which some Christian groups sing hymns inside a temple in Myanmar while Buddhist monks are present.

October 28, 2010

More on the Christians who held ceremonies in Buddhist temples

Filed under: Buddhism, idiots, multicultural society, religion — extrakorea @ 8:59 am

This has been mentioned before, but the Korea Times now has a more complete translation and story.

Some young Christians uploaded a video of themselves going to a Buddhist temple and being disrespectful of the premises and of the beliefs that they were built for.

The video [entitled “Conquering Bongeun Temple”] shows several students of a “Praise Academy” pledging their “mission” to get into the temple in southern Seoul, sing Christian hymns inside the sanctuary and speak out about their doctrine. The participants, whose faces were unidentifiable, said prayers out loud and criticized the temple facilities.

The clip showed one saying, “I was devastated to see the scenery of idolatry and idols. They are all useless and harmful.” Another said, “I proclaim that the place belongs to God. I believe that I was sent to reclaim God’s territory.”

[ snip ]

Rev. Choi Ji-ho, who leads AS37, the group that runs the academy, visited the leaders of the temple and the order with those who appeared in the video clip on Wednesday and apologized for their actions.

“They were given the task to sing on large roads, near Gangnam Metro Station. I don’t know why they chose the temple, but it was a terrible and offensive thing to do,” he said. “I didn’t know what they did and moreover, that they would make it so public by releasing video clips. It was ignorant and disrespectful.”

Ven. Myeongjin [who heads Bongeun Temple] said he would accept the apology for the peace and harmony among religions.

Observers said the incident is just one example of outrageous actions performed by some Protestants these days under the name of their “mission.”

Apparently, another group in Daegu has done something similar.

The clip also contains scenes of Protestants giving praise inside the temple. The group also claimed in their video that they are doing whatever they can to resist the government’s support for the Buddhist templestays program and the establishment of a Buddhist theme park.

I think that all Koreans, whether Buddhist or not, should realize that a lot of their heritage is expressed through Buddhist things like temples, statues, etc. Moreover, these are the kinds of things that foreigners come for, and if they truly value their tourism industry, they’ll think about that. The Egyptians, even though they are now Muslim, realize the value of things like the Sphinx and the pyramids, even though they are pagan artifacts.

April 12, 2009

Celibate monk offers dating advice

Filed under: Buddhism, culture, humor — extrakorea @ 12:47 am

A celibate monk has been offering dating advice for seventeen years. Here’s how he explains this seeming paradox:

“Whether it’s dating or serious love, all essentially is based on human relationship. And human relationship is based on karma,” he said in an interview with JoongAng Ilbo, published Saturday.

As a monk, he is also aware that he is doing something unusual and has a good way of defending it. “Buddhism attaches a great importance to karma, arising from human relationship. So, it’s not something very strange for a monk to do dating counseling,” he said.

But he admitted that it was not easy for him to be understood. “Even other monks regarded me as an odd ball a few years back. They thought even though I did it to help other people, but then the very job of talking about dating and very private affairs itself could become a stumbling block for a monk to gain enlightenment.”

He runs the “Happiness-healing center” in the Samcheong-dong neighborhood of Seoul, and began when, seventeen years ago, he was a chaplain in the military and counseled a heartbroken young soldier.

March 30, 2009

Guide to religion in Korea

Filed under: Buddhism, expatriates, religion — extrakorea @ 12:03 pm

The Korea Herald newspaper ran a series on the different religions that can be found in Korea. Unfortunately, their web-site will often have you going around in circles or to dead ends. Fortunately, the articles were written by a blogger who has the articles on her web-site, so I’ll post the links to her entries and send the traffic her way.

Christianity in Korea

Buddhism in Korea

Hinduism in Korea

Judaism in Korea

Islam in Korea

March 26, 2009

Learn about temple stays

Filed under: Buddhism, culture, expatriates, travel — extrakorea @ 1:43 pm

Here’s an article about temple stays in Korea.

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