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Statement Opposing Religious Discrimination
The Buddhists of Korea strongly protest the government’s policies of religious discrimination
Article 20 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea stipulates the prohibition of state religion, and the separation of religion and politics. However, since the inauguration of the new government, some of the high government officials and the President himself have been violating the Constitution as if intent upon turning the country into a Christian state. We strongly regret the government’s physical suppression of the civil rights of peaceful assembly and demonstrations demanding the principle of democracy.
Examples of religious discrimination by the present government
1. The President sent congratulatory messages via visual media to the prayer assembly in Busan City dedicated to "the dissolution of Buddhism in this country."
2. The President declared the restoration of the Cheonggye River in the downtown Seoul as the will of "Almighty God." While Mayor of Seoul, he likewise dedicated the city to "Almighty God."
3. The biased appointment of a disproportionate number of high government officials of Christian faith.
4. Exclusion of temples on internet maps by the government, while listing only churches.
5. Having police search the car of the Chief Executive of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.
People of the world highly value the peaceful coexistence of diverse religions in the Republic of Korea. We firmly believe that a major factor of such admirable achievement has been the Buddhist spirit of tolerance, and the great effort of the Order and devotees. However, as if to mock our tolerance and effort, the President has ignored the principle of freedom of religious belief since his inauguration.
1. The formal apology of the President and the government.
2. Enactment of laws and regulations to prevent the discrimination of religion in the appointment of high government officials.
3. Strong measures to prevent religious discrimination in the government policy.
We had a pan-Buddhist demonstration on August 27 at the plaza in front of the City Hall with the assemblage of about tow hundred thousand Buddhists opposed to the biased religious policy of the government.
We ask for the endorsement of other Buddhist Orders and organizations for our proclamation against the biased religious policies of the government. We also request to notify us your concurrence about our proclamation at your earliest convenience at the address below, and include a statement from your Order or organization supporting the harmony and solidarity of Korean Buddhism.
For more information about the pan-Buddhist demonstartion, please click