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Lenten lectures broaden faith knowledge

Leaders of other religions give Catholics insight to other beliefs

A monk is giving a lecture about mercy in the parish A monk is giving a lecture about mercy in the parish
  • John Won, Seoul
  • Korea
  • April 4, 2011
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Special Lenten lectures by leaders of other religions are giving Catholics the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of other beliefs.

Ilwon-dong Church in Seoul archdiocese invited Buddhist, Muslim, Protestant and Won-Buddhism leaders to deliver a series of special lectures that began on March 18 and will end on Friday.

“People who think only their beliefs are right by rejecting other religions are too self-assertive. We need to understand other religions because we live together with people of various religions in a multi-cultural country,” said Father Barnabas Kim Jeung-nam, who organized the lecture program.

Won-Buddhism and Muslim leaders delivered lectures on grace and love on March 18 and 25 respectively.

According to Father Kim, many faithful attended the imam's lecture because it was a rare opportunity for them to meet a Muslim leader in Korea.

“When I was at Kochok-dong Church, I organized special lectures from other religious leaders for an Advent program, which the parishioners loved. So I did the same for Lent this time,” Father Kim said.

“I also plan to arrange special lectures from leaders of Confucian and Taoist leaders,” he added.

Venerable Muksan of Bongeunsa temple, gave a lecture on mercy on April 1.

“Mercy means that people love others and feel pity for them. If we love others and are happy now, it is a mercy regardless of religion and ideology,” he said ahead of his lecture.

“It is a really encouraging program because it gives Catholics an opportunity to understand other religions,” the monk added.

He said he would like to hold a similar lecture program for Buddhists, and has asked Father Kim to visit his temple in downtown Seoul.

At the last lecture on April 8, a Protestant pastor will talk about love.

Related report
‘Buddhist, Protestant leaders try to reconcile’

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