Sparks of religious strifeMonks and believers are likely to stage a large-scale protest against the government for allegedly discriminating against their religion, the first of its kind in a democratic country. The Buddhist community plans to hold the rally today to condemn the Lee Myung-bak administration for going against the Constitution and maintaining a bias against certain religious faiths.
There is a reason for this movement.
The current situation can be resolved only if President Lee, an elder in a Protestant church, steps up. While serving as the mayor of Seoul, he said, “I offer the city of Seoul to God,” provoking resistance from other religions. He should have learned a lesson from this incident and been more careful after he was sworn in as president.
If protests by the Buddhist community continue, other religious communities will likely resist as well, which can lead to more religious strife. The president has a responsibility to prevent such conflict from happening.
The method is simple. It is not good enough that the president told his senior secretaries not to discriminate against certain religions. He should instead release a message to the public addressing the issue. He should deliver an apology for the current situation to the Buddhist community and make it clear that if civil workers favor certain religious faiths they will be punished.
The sparks of strife between different religious should be put out before they break into a blaze.