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March 28, 2017

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Rapping Korean nuns fire up prayer competition in effort to attract youth

SEOUL--South Korea's top Buddhist organization held an experimental "prayer competition" Thursday, featuring rapping nuns and singing monks in a bid to attract new, younger followers.

More than 300 monks and nuns packed a large temple in downtown Seoul to take part in the competition hosted by the Jogye Order.

Participants — mostly young monks — chanted prayers, or invocations, from classic Buddhist scriptures, as well as "freestyle" prayers they composed.

While many delivered traditional, monotone recitations, some opted for something bolder.

A group of three young nuns delivered a blistering performance of a rap song derived from The Heart Sutra — one of the most popular Buddhist scriptures — and using their own lyrics promoting love and harmony.

"Great wisdom, perfect wisdom. Buddha's teachings that show you the way!" Hye-Kang bellowed loudly out to cheers from hundreds of excited followers and monks.

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