Harmony beyond religion lays groundwork for communication in Gyeonggi

Buddhism, Christianity and Catholicism hold the 2nd Gyeonggi Religious Harmony Festival on November 15 at Gyeonggi Provincial Academy

Gyeonggi Governor Kim Moon-soo shared a festival of harmony and communication with three religions: Buddhism, Christianity and Catholicism.

Governor Kim attended the 2nd Gyeonggi Religious Harmony Festival held on November 15 at Gyeonggi Provincial Academy Gymnasium and participated in various programs such as Community Games, Cheerful Field Day, and Harmony Events.

This festival removed the barrier between religions and delivered the message of harmony and communication. Those who attended the festival included Yongjusa temple chief monk Jeongho, Bongseonsa temple monk Doil, Catholic Diocese of Suwon priest Song Byeong-sun, Jowon Methodist Church minister Seo Jung-dal, Gyeonggi-do Provincial Government public official mentor clergies (minister Kim Young-jin, monk Jeokyeon, minister Kim Hak-won), and over 600 believers.

“The world is a single flower, and you and I are not two, plants and trees are not two, this country and that country are not two, but everything in this world is a single flower,” said Yongjusa temple chief monk Jeongho in the declaration of the opening. “I hope we harmonize, love and praise as a single flower and enjoy a meaningful day today.”

“I hope this festival lays groundwork for Gyeonggi Province to be filled with hope and happiness with understanding, harmony and smooth communication among clergies and believers in each religion of our province to enhance sharing, social integration and bond beyond religion and ideology,” said Governor Kim Moon-soo in the commemorative speech.

“I am forever grateful to the mentor clergies who take the initiative in unpleasant tasks as the anchors of Gyeonggi residents and advise public officials to have a proper mental attitude,” he added. “I would like to thank the clergies for your sacrifice and service in leading the residents in harmony. I hope you enjoy a great day.”

This festival was hosted by the Gyeonggi Council of Religious Leaders and supervised by the Buddhism circles (Yongjusa temple and Bongseonsa temple), and leaders and believers of the three religions - Buddhism, Christianity and Catholicism - shared a harmonious bond through Community Games, Cheerful Field Day, and Harmony Events. The festival also included various events such as a percussion performance, Korean folk musical play (pungmul), and namsadangpae (traveling entertainers) to boost excitement.

Believers who participated in the festival were divided into four teams - Passion, Harmony, Challenge and Vision - regardless of religion, and they enjoyed the official event together followed by four programs of Open Events, Cheerful Field Day, and Harmony Events.

In Part 2, Open Events, Governor Kim Moon-soo joined Passion, monk Jeongho joined Challenge, minister Seo Jung-dal joined Harmony, and priest Song Byeong-sun joined Vision to enjoy games and communicate with believers. Governor Kim ran enthusiastically in a red T-shirt, while monk Jeongho led his team to victory in a yellow T-shirt.

Jung Ho-soon from the Harmony Team added merriment during the game by singing Girl of Soyang-gang on the spot. “Many believers came from Bongseonsa temple this year too, like they did last year,” Jung said. “This festival is not just a harmonious event among different religions; it is a true communication among Gyeonggi residents.”

The event also included a presentation ceremony of donations to social welfare organizations: from Buddhism(Yongjusa temple and Bongseonsa temple) to Protestantism and Catholicism, from Protestantism to Yongjusa temple, and from Catholicism to Bongseonsa temple. The organizations to receive donations from each religion are Lotus Village, Somang (Hope) Hill, Silver Human Resources Bank, and Two-Five Haenuri.

Next year the event will be hosted by Catholicism.

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