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Buddhist monks brawl over temple chief selection

By Park Soong-joo

Published : Jan. 17, 2023 - 16:11

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Haeinsa Temple (Getty Images Bank) Haeinsa Temple (Getty Images Bank)

A brawl broke out at Haeinsa Temple, a Buddhist temple in Hapcheon, South Gyeongsang Province, resulting in at least one injury requiring hospital treatment, the police said.

According to the police, around 50 monks on Monday became involved in a physical clash over selection of the temple’s new chief.

The fight broke out in the entryway of Gwaneumjeon Hall as supporters of the candidate, backed by the temple's most senior monk, attempted to prevent members of the Emergency Response Committee from entering.

Following the brawl one person was sent to the hospital for an eye injury, police reported.

The Emergency Response Committee expressed regret over the injury but claimed the fight was unavoidable.

The police are investigating the case and plan to review surveillance footage.