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Korean Buddhists want Protestant lawmaker out

Government comments ’reveal religious bias towards Protestants’

Korean Buddhists want Protestant lawmaker out
Hwang Woo-yeo, Protestant lawmaker
Stephen Hong, Seoul

January 18, 2011

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The largest Buddhist denomination in South Korea is clamoring for a Protestant lawmaker to immediately resign for what they say is his anti-Buddhist bias. The Buddhist Jogye Order’s Committee for Religion and Peace said in its Jan. 17 statement that Hwang Woo-yeo’s recent remark that the number of Protestant Supreme Court judges was decreasing shows the government’s and ruling party’s religious bias. Local Buddhist groups have been protesting against the government’s alleged preference for Protestantism and bias against Buddhism since President Lee Myung-bak, a Protestant, assumed office in 2008. A spokesperson of Hwang’s office told today that the lawmaker’s remark was misquoted as he only “meant to invite one of the Supreme Court judges to the National Assembly’s prayer breakfast." However, Han Seung-hee, secretary of the Buddhist order’s committee, told that since several local had already reported Hwang’s remark, his explanation could not be trusted. Hwang has "repeatedly" been making such religiously biased remarks, Han said. In the statement, the committee urged Hwang to immediately resign, adding it would bring him to account for his remarks and continue to do so if he does not resign. Related UCA News report Korean Buddhists stage ’1080 bow’protest KO12895.1637
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