South Korea’s largest Buddhist order, the Jogye, is in crisis after allegations of serious wrongdoing by a number of its monks.
A covertly filmed video shows the religious men drinking alcohol and gambling. Furthermore, the man who released the footage also said that monks had paid for prostitutes, had secret mistresses and even families. The order has denied those allegations.
The scandal of alleged financial and moral abuses has prompted campaigners to push for all religious institutions to be legally obliged to pay taxes.
A recent poll found that 65 per cent of the public were in favour of taxing religious groups, and the country’s finance minister has raised the prospect of including the issue in this August’s annual tax revision.
Harry Fawcett reports from Seoul.