PYONGYANG, September 5 (Itar-Tass) — Buddhists from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea held a joint prayer Monday for the unification of their divided homeland.
The prayer took place in the ancient temple Bohyeon-sa located in mountains of Myohyang-san /Mysteriously Fragrant Hills/ 120 kilometers away from Pyongyang.
The temple was founded in 1024 during the rule of the Koryo dynasty and consecrated in the name of the Buddhist deity Samantabhadra, known under the name of Pohyon Posal in the Korean language.
On the occasion of the joint prayer, the governmental quarters in both Korean states voiced the hope that it will help reduce the tensions existing in the relationship between Pyongyang and Seoul.
The Korean Buddhists called for taking the practical steps towards the defusing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the fostering of dialogue and cooperation.
They also underlined the importance of implementing the provisions of the two inter-Korean declarations.
The first of them was signed in 2000 when Kim Dae-jung, the then President of the Republic of Korea visited Pyongyang.
October 4, 2007, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and South Korea’s Acting President Roh Moo-hyun signed a Declaration on Advancement of South-North Korean Relations, Peace and Prosperity. This eight-point document contained a call for the ensuring of peace between the two Korean states.
South Korean monks arrived in North Korea to celebrate the third millennium of Tripitaka Koreanna /or palman Daejanggyeong in Korean/ — a collection of Korean Buddhist texts carved on 81,340 wooden blocks that all together make up one of the fullest codes of Buddhist canons.
UNESCO has entered Tripitaka Koreanna in its list of world cultural heritage objects.
The Federation of Korean Buddhists was set up in 1945. The North Korean authorities have restored many temples destroyed in the course of U.S. carpet bombing raids during the Korean War of 1950 to 1953.
The temples play the role of centers disseminating knowledge about Buddhism. They also help train students at the department of religion at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang and educate future monks at the Buddhist College.