Former Leader of Buddhist Jogye Order Dies in Temple Fire

Seoul - Ven. Jaseung, a prominent former leader of the Jogye Order, South Korea's largest Buddhist sect, tragically died in a temple fire in Anseong, located 64 kilometers south of Seoul. The fire at Chiljang Temple occurred on Wednesday evening, and Jaseung's body was discovered following a three-hour effort by firefighters to extinguish the blaze. He was 69 years old at the time of his death.

According to Yonhap News Agency, The Jogye Order announced that it would hold a five-day funeral led by its current leader, Ven. Jinwoo, at Jogye Temple in downtown Seoul, with a funeral ceremony scheduled for Sunday morning. Authorities are investigating the exact cause of the fire and Jaseung's death. Reports indicate that two notes were found in Jaseung's car near the scene, suggesting he took his own life and requesting no autopsy.

Jaseung's death has deeply shocked the Buddhist community, as he had been actively working to address challenges facing the order, including declining population. Ven. Jugyeong, head of the order's legislative organization, and Park Jeong-gyu, a public relations official of the order's labor union, expressed their dismay at the unexpected news. Jaseung, who became a monk at 19, held significant leadership roles in the Buddhist community and interfaith organizations from 2009 to 2017.

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