The religion of Buddhism is very popular in Korea and they have their own holistic approach that has resulted in a variation known as Tongybulgyo.
There are two main orders of traditional Korean Buddhism known as the Jogye and Taego, and two members of the Jogye order have just hit the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
News has recently been released that two Buddhist monks, of the Jogye order, have been fined for their part in a high stakes poker game.
The Seoul Central District Court fined both monks two million Korean, worth around $1,775, after they were filmed participating in a poker game in a hotel room.
Bizarrely, the people who set up the camera and engineered the observation were given suspended prison sentences for breaking and entering the hotel room, and causing damage during the installation of the camera.
Gambling is illegal in South Korea, except for specially licensed establishments, such as casinos and racetracks. It is also against the Buddhist order’s special code of discipline.
There were eight Buddhist monks involved in all, and it was not only gambling rules that they broke. The Octet was also observed allegedly drinking alcohol and smoking – acts that also breach the Buddhist rules.
It has also been reported that a number of senior leaders of the Jogye order have resigned as a result of this particular scandal. It is believed that 10 million of South Korea’s 50 million people belong to the Buddhist order.