Pages InformationWriter admin Date18 Aug 2008 Read12,076 Comment0
As a nation that guarantees the freedom of religion and upholds the principle of separating church and state, Korea has had few serious inter-religion conflicts in the past. But an emerging Buddhist dispute with President Lee Myung-bak’s administration is threatening to undermine the harmony that has been maintained among different religious groups in the nation.
The dispute started with what the administration regarded as an accidental, not intentional, error. In June, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs failed to include the locations of Buddhist temples on the map on its website that provides information on the mass transit system in Seoul’s metropolitan area. Buddhists complained this omission was in sharp contrast with the inclusion of Christian churches, be they large or small.
A similar mistake was recently made again. This time, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology dropped Buddhist temple sites from its map when it launched a website for the provision of education and geological information. Again, the website map showed the location of small and large Christian churches.
(=EDITORIAL from the Korea Herald on Aug. 18)