Korea’s Buddhists in Revolt

South Korean Buddhists are up in arms, accusing President Lee Myung Bak and his administration of showing religious bias against Buddhists and favoring Christians. South Korea by law is a secular state, as clearly enshrined in its constitution defending the freedom of religion. It bars designation of any faith as state religion. Yet, a phenomenal rise in the size and power of the Christian community in recent decades has the Buddhist community here gripped by apprehension. In the course of the last five decades of Korea’s industrialization and modernization, the role and size of Korea’s once-powerful Buddhist population has significantly declined.

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