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Scrutinizing into JOKB statistics 2005

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Writer admin Date05 Jul 2006 Read7,247 Comment0

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According to ’JOKB statistics 2005’ recently issued by Administrative Headquarters of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Buddhist facilities for practice, propagation and education such as Buddhist temples, community centers and special education centers have increased compared to the year before, while sincere Buddhists like those attached to the Paramita Youth Association and those completing the training courses for Buddhists have relatively decreased. The number of Sunims has increased by about 360 in contrast to the last year. With regard to the survey result, Dongseon Sunim, chief of Planning Dept. in Administrative Headquarters commented like this; "We need to develop various supporting projects for youth propagation and make a positive effort to promote Buddhist education on the Order scale." Major statistic results are as follows.

In 2005, there were 2,368 JOKB temples in Korea. The number reflects that 169 new temples have been built, which also rates 7.69% increase, compared to the previous year. Such a major increase can be attributed to the foundation of Army Special District, which, first starting in 2005, has caused 101 army Buddhist temples to be transferred to civilian Buddhist temples.

Besides, 13 official temples, 6 traditional temples and 1 overseas temple were added. Social welfare facilities make 2 new additions to existing 94 and workers at welfare facilities were added up to 154, totaling 1,350.

There were fluctuations in the number of Sunims. The number of Bhikkus(or Bhikkunis) has increased by 434, but the prospective ordinands has decreased by 73, which reveals the overall increase of Sunims by 361. The number also accounts for 2.85% increase compared to the year before. In 2005 the number of Sunims in JOKB totaled 13,035.

Prospective ordinands tend to reduce gradually, as is shown by male novices reducing by 10 and female by 63 compared to the year before. The District Temples under the direct control have 3,443 Sunims, which ranks the first in the Sunim number. The temple which has the second most Sunims is Haeinsa, Head Temple for the 12th District, which has 1515, and the third is Tongdosa, Head Temple for the 15th District, which has 1088 Sunims.

Sunim’s age varies as 6,779 Sunims (52% of all the JOKB Sunims) are mostly between 35 and 49 years old.

When it comes to 8,797 items of Buddhism-related cultural assets, those owned by various Buddhist organizations are 1,819 items while those owned by non-Buddhist organizations amount to 1,263. So it is very urgent to seek harder to restore those Buddhism cultural properties.

Kim Pandong, a team chief of Planning Dept. said, "The statistics have been made for the objective understanding of the Order’s present situation and to utilize as basic data for the Order’s policy development. We are willing to release the result on line to embody our clear administrative service and to be helpful for each temple’s administrative work. Everyone can get access to the major statistic data at our homepage, www.buddhism.or.kr."

Meanwhile, this statistics show us the current state of JOKB as of Dec. 31st, 2005, encompassing 8 sectors (including ’temples’, ’Buddhist monks’, ’finance’ etc) and 32 divisions.

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