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Tolerance can diffuse Buddhist-Protestant tension

Korean Catholic archbishop urges recognition of different religions

Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong
  • John Choi, Seoul
  • Korea
  • January 24, 2011
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Amid continuing animosity between Buddhists and Protestants in South Korea, a prominent bishop has called for inter-faith tolerance.

Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju told The Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper that recent conflicts stemmed from fundamentalism, which “can be seen as self-righteousness and stubbornness from other people’s view.

“We, as religious people, need generosity to recognize the difference among neighboring religions," said the president of the bishops’ Committee for Promoting Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue.

"Difference does not mean that they are wrong. In a multi-religious society like South Korea, the various different factors of religions should co-exist together and form harmony."

Among recent issues between the two faiths have been a service held by hard-line Protestants in a Buddhist temple in Seoul and what some perceive as a bias within the government.

Related report
Christian Leaders Declare 2009 Ecumenical Unity Year

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