Islamabad: The Venerable Wonhaeng, leader of South Korea’s Buddhist Jogye Order, stayed Pakistan for a week. The founder of Korean Buddhism came from what is now Pakistan. In Islamabad, the Jogye Order’s chief abbot met Pakistan’s president and prime minister.
As per this visit, the peaceful coexistence between religions in Pakistan is possible.
The government of Pakistan has authorized the Jogye Order to build a Buddhist temple at a site that is historically connected to Buddhism.
An announcement was made by the Venerable Wonhaeng, the leader of the order, during a visit to the South Asian country at the helm of a delegation of monks.
The abbot hardly travels and this one carries great symbolic value.
His visit to Pakistan lasted from 16 to 24 November — 2019. Upon his return – he analyzed the results of his visit — speaking about it following a religious ceremony in Seoul a few days ago.
“I was deeply moved,” he said, “when I first stepped into Pakistan because it is the home country of the Ven Marananta — who brought Buddhism to Korea about 1,600 years ago.”
For his part, the Venerable said: “I was enthralled by the Pakistani government’s perpetual efforts to preserve historic sites having a trace of Buddhism.”
Currently, Pakistani Buddhists number 1,500 — out of a population of 197 million people; which is really remarkable information.
South Korea has a population of 52 million citizens — with more than 20 million Buddhists (mostly members of the Jogye Order); but their numbers are down as there is no official registration for membership in the group.
Christians are 26 per cent of the population, over 11 per cent Catholic.