Buddhist Patriarch visits graves of Korean Church founders

The venerable Jinje, who leads the largest religious denomination in South Korea with 20 million followers, was welcomed by the rector of the Shrine, Peter Byon, and other priests in Chon Jin Am.

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Korea
Nov 19 2013, 2:18 PM
Buddhist Patriarch visits graves of Korean Church founders
Chon Jin Am, the Korean martyr's shrine.

The Patriarch of the Buddhist Jogye Order paid a courtesy visit to Chon Jin Am, the Korean shrine that houses the tombs of five lay martyr-founders of the Catholic Church in the country.

The venerable Jinje, who leads the largest religious denomination in South Korea with 20 million followers, was welcomed by the rector of the Shrine, Peter Byon, and other priests in Chon Jin Am.

The Monk said he was very happy to be able to stand under the large statue of the Virgin Mary Queen of Peace, installed a few months ago in the sanctuary. Jinje said that the Virgin "is a tool for peace in the world" and described a pilgrimage to the tomb of the five martyrs as impressive.

The five martyrs – Yi Byok, Yi Seung-houn, Kwon Yil-shin, Kwon Cheol-sin and Cheong Yak-jon – are part of the group of 103 Korean martyrs canonized by John Paul II in 1984. The Korean Church is now looking forward to the canonization of another group of 123 martyrs.

The visit is an interreligious courtesy call to dampen the tensions that arose in 2011 between the Order and the South Korean Christians. According to the Buddhists, the then government led by Lee Myung-bak had launched too many "pro-Christian policies"; the accusations were followed by dozens of popular protests led by monks. Shortly after, the Order had changed its leader. Jinje was elected in December 2011 and assumed the office in March 2012 for five years.

Source:  AsiaNews

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