12/09/2015, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Trade unionist seeks refuge in Jogye Buddhist temple, hundreds of police deployed get him out

Han Sang-gyun is the president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Since November 14 he has been inside the place of worship: the authorities want to stop the anti-government riots that have lasted months. Over 600 police set to raid temple. Abbot: "It would be an attack on Korean Buddhism".

Seoul (AsiaNews) - Tensions are rising in the vicinity of the central temple of Jogye Buddhism in Seoul, where since November 14 last the leader of the national unions confederation has been barricaded. The man is wanted by the authorities for being the promoter of anti-government riots that occurred in the days prior to November 14.

Han Sang-gyun, president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions united, sought and obtained the protection of the monks who have offered to mediate for him. However, today more than 600 agents are preparing to break into a place of worship and have set a 4pm (local time) deadline.

The venerable Dobeop, abbot of the temple, said that such an action "would be an open attack on Jogye Buddhism and more generally on Korean Buddhism". Having announced its intention to grant refuge to the unionist, the religious convened a press conference: "Buddha teaches us that every creature that lives in grief must be helped. That's why we are committed to listening to all parties and finding a solution to the problem. "

The Union movement has asked all its members to go to the temple to defend Han, and the monks have invited the faithful to do the same to defend the sanctity of the place of worship. Along with the Catholic Cathedral Myeongdong, in fact, the central temple Jogye was during the years of military dictatorship one of the few safe havens for activists, democrats and student leaders.

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