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The Jogye Order held a ceremony for the diseased spirits of the slaughter cows and pigs in the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic. This service included prayers for the swift ending to this epidemic, which led to the slaughtering of over two million cows and pigs.
At the beginning of the service, there was a report by the Animal Protection Society on the current status. Ven. Hyechong said in his speech, “By the merit of offering this service, may the spirits of the slaughtered animals find rebirth in the Pure Lands by the great compassionate will of the Buddha.” He continued, “Lord Buddha taught to consider all sentient beings as our parents. If beings were to understand that we are born in different circumstances according to our karma, then we could create a Pure Land where we recognize each others’ value.” In this way, Ven. Hyechong emphasized the value of life.
Ven. Hyechong also said taking numerous lives of beings by the great greed of humans is destroying the natural order of the world. He said, “Let us learn to be content. Let us create a world where all beings can live together.”
Lee Hyeon-su, the President of the Jogyesa Temple Laity Association recited the aspiration prayer called “Aspiration for World Peace.” Thereafter, Cheongryangsa Temple abbot led the ceremony for the repose the spirits and to send the diseased to a better rebirth. After the ceremony, participants went around the Jogyesa Temple grounds in a farewell ceremony. Then, a fire ceremony, burning the names of the diseased, ended the services.