Korea: North and South together for rebirth of Shingye Temple
07-24-2018    AsiaNews
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<DIV align=left><BR><SPAN lang=EN-US>By Theresa Kim Hwa-young, AsiaNews, November 20, 2006</SPAN></DIV>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Mount Geumgang</SPAN></st1:City><SPAN lang=EN-US>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">North Korea</st1:country-region> -- About 700 religious representatives and government officials from <st1:City w:st="on">Seoul</st1:City> and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Pyongyang</st1:City></st1:place> held a ceremony together yesterday to celebrate the reopening of a North Korean Buddhist temple that was destroyed in the 1950 war.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The restoration of Shingye temple, destroyed during the 1950 war, had been foreseen in the joint declaration signed by <st1:City w:st="on">Seoul</st1:City> and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Pyongyang</st1:City></st1:place> in 2000.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Shingye temple is situated on the eastern coast of <st1:country-region w:st="on">North Korea</st1:country-region> near <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mount</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Geumgang</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>. It is a complex of 10 adjoining temples.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Destroyed by American fire in 1951, the temple was reopened after two years of restoration works undertaken by the Jogye Order, <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">South Korea</st1:place></st1:country-region>'s largest Buddhist group, and the North Korean Buddhist Federation.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"We can hold this ceremony thanks to June 15 joint declaration," said Chung So-jung, the federation chief. "Our hopes for the unification of the two <st1:country-region w:st="on">Koreas</st1:country-region> will now be backed by prayers by Buddhists from the two <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Koreas</st1:place></st1:country-region>."</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The declaration, signed in 2000 by the then president of Seoul, Kim Dae-jung and by the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, foresaw a "first joint project" to "restore a common cultural asset since the division of the Korean Peninsula in 1948".</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Founded in <st1:chmetcnv w:st="on" TCSC="0" NumberType="1" Negative="False" HasSpace="True" SourceValue="519" UnitName="a">519 A</st1:chmetcnv>.D. during the Silla Dynasty, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Shingye</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> is one of the most famous places of worship of Korean Buddhism.</SPAN></P>
Editor: Wang Xinyu
   
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