Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism

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Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism

Buddhist exchanges between North and South Korea

In 1997, the Buddhist communities of North and South Korea began their first interaction by holding their first Buddha’s Birthday dharma assemblies at the same time. In 2007, after 4 years of effort, they completed the restoration of Singyesa Temple on Mt. Geumgangsan located in North Korea, after which both sides prayed together to the Buddha for peace and unification. Afterward, up until 2018, the Buddhist communities of North and South Korea held simultaneous dharma assemblies in Seoul and Pyeongyang on Buddha’s Birthday, and issued a joint statement of vows. In addition, in order to put Buddhism’s spirit of compassion into action, the Buddhist community of South Korea had carried out humanitarian aid projects to assist their North Korean brethren in times of hardship. The Buddhist community in South Korea also took the lead in initiating North-South interaction through collaborative projects to restore/preserve Buddhist cultural properties in North Korea, vigorous interaction between NorthSouth temples, and arranging pilgrimages to temples in North Korea. However, after 2018, due to the strained North-South relationship and the onset of COVID-19, no concrete progress has occurred. Still, the Jogye Order Office for the Promotion of National Unity works proactively on behalf of the Buddhist community in South Korea to unite North and South Korea as one and to restore the homogeneity of the Korean people.

Projects to expand awareness of the need for peaceful unification

In order to expand the foundation for interaction between North-South and unification, awareness of citizens and Buddhists for the need to reunite peacefully should be heightened. To that end the Jogye Order Office for the Promotion of National Unity conducts unification education projects and plans events to encourage public participation in order to find talented people to take the lead in North-South Buddhist exchanges and to heighten the potential for unification. In addition, the Office makes continual efforts for unification on the civilian level by planning diverse projects to raise the social status of the Order and to inspire Buddhist activities to help achieve peaceful unification.

Research on reunification

A major goal of the Jogye Order Office for the Promotion of National Unity is to conduct activities in preparation for the post-unification era. At present, the Office performs a variety of activities that include: investigating the status of North Korean temples, investigating the possibility of restoring temple ruins, joint-studies of Buddhist cultural properties, and policy studies to work toward unification and improve Buddhist exchanges between North and South Korea. In addition, the Office also performed research projects aimed at restoring Singyesa Temple, held Buddhist discourses about unification, and published books related to North-South Korean Buddhism.

(03144) 55, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of KoreaTEL : 82-2-2011-1830FAX: 82-2-735-0614E-MAIL: jokb@buddhism.or.kr
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