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Former Leader of Jogye Order Ven. Wolju Dies at 87

Written: 2021-07-22 11:03:47Updated: 2021-07-22 14:52:51

Ven. Wolju, former president of South Korea's largest Buddhist sect the Jogye Order, died on Thursday at the age of 87. 

The former leader died at 9:45 a.m. at the 14-hundred-year-old Geumsan Temple in Gimje, North Jeolla Province, where he served as an abbot and later as a spiritual master.

He had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia at a hospital since earlier this year before returning to the temple on Thursday to spend his final hours.

Born in 1935 in Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province, Ven. Wolju was elected the 17th President of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in 1980, but was arrested and forced to step down the same year amid a brutal crackdown on Buddhist monks by the Chun Doo-hwan government. 

He stressed social participation in Buddhism and joined various civic groups including the Citizen's Coalition for Economic Justice.

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