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Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism shuts down temple stay program due to spread of coronavirus

(Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
(Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
 

The Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism announced Monday that it would suspend the operation of its Templestay program until March 20 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism, an affiliate of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, currently operates a Templestay program at 137 temples around the country.

“As people’s concerns about the coronavirus rise due to the number of confirmed cases increasing day by day, we have inevitably decided to suspend our operations,” Ven. Wonkyung, the religious group’s head monk, said in a statement. “We also ask all the Templestay operating staff and head Buddhist monks to pay more attention to preventing the spread of the infection and their health.”

Eighteen temples in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, areas that have seen a steep rise in the number of patients, were asked on Friday to suspend the program until March 15, according to the corps.

The corps added that the decision to temporarily shut down the program at all temples followed a government alert issued Monday, advising the highest level of caution toward the virus.

Established in 2004, the Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism promotes Korean Buddhism and related cultural content through programs like the Templestay. Last year, a total of 70,520 foreigners experienced Korean Buddhist culture through the program.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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