Festival Brings Together S. Korea's Major Religions in Jeonju

Write : 2016-09-21 11:42:26 Update : 2016-09-21 13:14:02

Festival Brings Together S. Korea's Major Religions in Jeonju

Anchor: A festival celebrating the harmony of South Korea's four major religions has kicked off in the city of Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. The attendance of a UNESCO official added meaning to the gathering of religious leaders from Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism and the indigenous Won Buddhism.
Our Kim In-kyung has more.
 
Report: [Sound bite: Bits of pansori music performance]

Traditional pansori music sung by a pastor reverberates in the plaza, 

[Sound bite: Bits of saxophone performance]

and the melodic sounds of the saxophone played by a Buddhist monk comfort listeners.
 
Representatives from South Korea's four major religions—Buddhism, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and the indigenous Won Buddhism—have gathered for the five-day World Religious Future Festival 2016 in Jeonju, which will end on Saturday.
 
Bishop Ree Byung-ho of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jeonju says the event will serve as an opportunity to think again about the harmony of the four religions.
 
[Sound bite: Bishop Ree Byung-ho of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jeonju (Korean)]
"It would be the best to experience together a return to the original mindsets of each religion."
 
Attendees took the time to understand each other by going on a pilgrimage to each religion's sacred sites such as churches and temples. It served as a moment of unity among the religions.
 
Kim Hye-bong, who heads Won Buddhism's North Jeolla parish, hoped that the efforts of the religious leaders will spread to others with faith.
 
[Sound bite: Kim Hye-bong - head of Won Buddhism's North Jeolla parish (Korean)]
"First, the clergy will come together and unify, then believers will harmonize."
 
A musical featuring the histories of each religion and a seminar will also be held.
 
Edouard Matoko, an assistant director-general of UNESCO, has added meaning to the event by attending the festival.
 
[Sound bite: Edouard Matoko - assistant director-general, UNESCO (English)]
"I am really happy to see that the four religions are coming together to speak about peace, and this is very, very important."
 
This year's event is expected to draw followers as well as a large number of nonbelievers as it will feature cultural programs such as food, music and films.
Kim In-kyung, KBS World Radio News. 

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