Former Leader of Jogye Order Dies in Temple Fire, Investigation Underway

Seoul - The Jogye Order, South Korea's largest Buddhist sect, announced the death of its former leader, Ven. Jaseung, in a temple fire on Thursday. Ven. Jaseung was visiting Chiljang Temple in Anseong, located 64 kilometers south of Seoul, when the fire occurred around 6:50 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters discovered his body after extinguishing the blaze over a three-hour period. Ven. Jaseung was 69 years old.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire and his death. Reports surfaced of two notes found in his car near the scene, suggesting that Ven. Jaseung might have taken his own life. Ven. Jaseung's death has left the Buddhist community in shock, especially given his recent efforts to promote Buddhism and address challenges like declining followers. Ven. Jugyeong, head of the Jogye Order's legislative organization, and Park Jeong-gyu, a public relations official, expressed their disbelief and emphasized the need for a thorough investigation. Ven. Jaseung, born in 1954, became a monk at 19 and served in prominent roles within the Buddhist community and interfaith organizations.

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