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Buddhist Leader Joins Pope in Washington Ceremony


Sovan Tun, head of the Cambodian Buddhist Society of Wat Buddhikaram Temple, Maryland, greets Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome. (Photo courtesy of Vatican)

Sovan Tun, head of the Cambodian Buddhist Society of Wat Buddhikaram Temple, Maryland, greets Pope Francis at the Vatican in Rome. (Photo courtesy of Vatican)

Tun Sovan, head of the Cambodian Buddhist Society at Wat Buddhikaram temple, said later he was happy to participate in a religious ceremony with the pope.

A prominent Cambodian Buddhist leader was asked to join in ceremonies with Pope Francis this week, as the pontiff made his first visit to the US.

Tun Sovan, head of the Cambodian Buddhist Society at Wat Buddhikaram temple, said later he was happy to participate in a religious ceremony with the pope. “He is so popular,” he said. “His trip is extremely important, as he cares about charity and social affairs.”

Tun Sovan said that wars, deadly shootings, drug use and many other social ills have made people nervous and point to a need to improve society, “so that people can live together without hardship and suffering.”

The pope’s words carry weight with Catholics, he said, but Buddhists, too, can learn from them, “to help people who face suffering.”

Tun Sovan met the pope in June, following religious talks by Buddhist leaders at the Vatican. Calling the pope a “powerful” figure, Tun Sovan said that religious leaders can work together “to serve mankind.”

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