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Leader of Chogye Order backs beleaguered stem cell scientist

The Korea Times, Dec 4, 2005

Seoul, South Korea -- The new executive director of the nation’s biggest Buddhist order has expressed his support for beleaguered stem cell pioneer Hwang Woo-suk.

"Buddha taught us to give everything to the sick, whether it costs an arm and a leg. If we say nothing for Hwang, our Buddhism is dead,’’ said the Rev. Ji Kwan, executive director of Chogye Order of Korea Buddhism, reaffirming his order’s support for Hwang. 

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The Buddhist leader’s comments came during a symposium in Seoul titled ``Buddhist Ethics on Life Issues’’ Saturday.

He petitioned participants in the symposium to support Hwang’s controversial research, emphasizing that the studies are designed to help people with physical difficulties.

``In a wider perspective, the earth, nonliving things, empty space and sentient beings are all parts of Buddha and therefore have vitality,’’ he said. ``It is nonsensical for some to insist that only the embryonic stem cell, (not the adult stem cell), is living,’’ targeting other religions, which have been opposing Hwang’s research.

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