Monday, June 27, 2011

South Korea's religious harmony put to the test

Many South Koreans concerned about the country's increasing religious polarisation are haunted by a single image - their president on his knees.

While attending a national prayer breakfast in March, Lee knelt to pray at the urging of Christian leaders.

Footage of the event shocked many in this pluralist country, where about half the population professes no particular faith and the remainder is split between Buddhists, Christians and homegrown creeds.

The main Buddhist Jogye Order called the scene "unforgiveable," and even right-leaning media outlets generally supportive of the conservative leader expressed reservations.

The Joongang Ilbo daily in an editorial urged Lee, a devout Protestant and an elder at Seoul's Somang Church, to keep his beliefs private and avoid provoking public ire....

Read more from Buddhist Channel.

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