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  • Korean Buddhist Monk Receives Niwano Peace Prize

Venerable Pomnyun, a South Korean Zen master, receives the 37th Niwano Peace Prize.
Venerable Pomnyun, a South Korean Zen master, receives the 37th Niwano Peace Prize.
Venerable Pomnyun, a South Korean Buddhist monk renowned for his social activism, has been awarded this year's Niwano Peace Prize.

The 67-year-old monk received the honor during a ceremony Monday, after the event had been postponed since June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When his selection was announced in February, prize committee members noted Venerable Pomnyun's years of work dedicated to bringing peace to the entire world and actively promoting social and environmental causes, as well as unification of the Korean Peninsula.

He was also recognized for his commitment to advancing peace within a Buddhist framework, in partnership with those of other faiths.

According to the Peace Foundation, a local foundation the monk heads, he has donated his prize money of 191,500 dollars to global causes.

The annual Niwano Peace Prize, known as the Asian Nobel Peace Prize in religion, is awarded by the Tokyo-based Niwano Peace Foundation to a living person or an organization that has made significant contributions to world peace by promoting interfaith cooperation.

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