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Religious Leaders Oppose School Bill

Posted December. 17, 2005 10:36,   


The Korean Council of Religious Leaders (KCRL), a council of leaders from seven religious orders in Korea, resolved to ask the Korean president to exercise his veto power on the private school reform bill at a meeting at the Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul on December 16.

The KCRL held a series of councilors’ meetings and steering committee meetings and agreed to call for the president to exercise his veto power against the revised private school reform bill in fear of the possible public conflict and social unrest the bill could cause.

Rev. Choi Seong-gyu, president of the Christian Council of Korea, Buddhist priest Jigwan, head of the General Affairs department in the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Bishop Kim Hee-jung, chairman of the Council of Church Unity and Dialogue Among Religions in the Catholic Bishops` Conference of Korea, Han Gwang-do, president of Cheondogyo, Han Yang-won, president of the Association of Religions Korea, and Choi Geun-deok, president of SungKyunKwan participated in the meeting.

The Christian Council of Korea proposed forming a national campaign headquarters to protect private schools, filing a constitutional petition and launching a campaign to obtain signatures, but the proposal did not get far because the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and the Association of Religions Korea did not accept the proposal. Secretary General Jeong Yeon-taek of the Christian Council of Korea said, "We will first press ahead with the measure of forming a national campaign headquarters. We will ask other religious orders to join through following KCRL meetings."

Meanwhile, the Presbyterian Church in Korea decided to hold a meeting on December 19 to come up with countermeasures for the revised private school bill in the Memorial Center for the 100th Anniversary of Churches in Korea in Jongno-gu, Seoul. The church was joined by about 100 chief directors, presidents, deans and principals of affiliated primary schools, middle schools, high schools, and universities.

Jeong-Gook Yoon jkyoon@donga.com