Buddhist monks fend off armed robbers at Brooklyn temple

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

From nypost.com

A Thai Buddhist temple in Brooklyn, New York, was robbed at gunpoint over the weekend. Police are searching for suspects involved in the theft, which targeted Buddhist monks residing in Watt Samakki-Dhammikaram, located near the Prospect Park South area. The incident took place on Sunday afternoon and shook several monks, including one who used a shelf to fend off the thieves.

According to Suthaea Kong, one of the monks, the thieves forced their way into the temple on Rugby Road in Flatbush around 14:30 p.m. The armed attackers, numbering at least three and wearing masks, broke in through the back door, before ransacking several temples. rooms, throwing papers and books on the floor in search of valuables.

Kong described his feelings at the time: “I was scared. . . because it's the first time for me. He said he saw the men: “Knife, knife, I look at the knife. . . gun. . . gun. » (CBS News)

Monk Channoeun Poun, 43, also met the thieves and asked them to leave.

"He said, 'Get out!' but they approached him and one of them had a knife,” Kong said. “They pointed him behind his back and told him to go back to his bed, lie down and go to sleep. Not moving. (New York Post)

Bun Sim, an older monk who was at the temple at the time, decided to fight back. At one point, he picked up a shelf mounting bracket and threatened the thieves, who backed away.

“I tried to scare them,” Sim said. “I didn’t want to hit them. If we are afraid, they will destroy us. We must scare them and protect the temple. He added: “I want to protect myself. I don't want to destroy others. (The independent)

The suspects took valuables, including cell phones and several hundred dollars in cash, including donations collected in a box. Community members arrived Monday with food and well wishes for the monks, but expressed concern about the monks' safety. A community member said: “I am not well. My feeling, I'm worried about my temple. (CBS News)

From nypost.com

Despite the fear and distress caused by the theft, the monks expressed their forgiveness towards the perpetrators of the theft. “I want to send a message that we do love and kindness to all people who do good and who do evil. We want them to give up all the bad things in daily life,” Kong said. " You must work. One must find money appropriately in daily life. (New York Post)

The temple has been part of the community for more than 35 years and plans to continue welcoming people, despite the incident.

“We must live in peace; helping others and making others happy is better, it’s our way of doing things,” Kong reiterated in another interview. “We want them to change their mind and never do it again, if they don't do it with other people, I hope it's the last for them because destroying others is not a good thing thing. » (ABC7NY)

None of the monks were injured during the robbery and the suspects remain at large. Police are currently not considering this a hate crime.

Anyone with information about the case can call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or, for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) .

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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