SEOUL (AFP): South Korea’s top Buddhist organisation 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.