One can now buy a Buddhist priest in Japan with just a click of the mouse on Amazon, according to the New York Times.
The new trend is reportedly disrupting the traditional model of Japanese funerals, but is catching on at a rapid pace. Japan is notorious for having stringent regulations on technology firms. Yet a group of enterprising priests have banded together to create a niche market for the largest religion.
Buddhist leaders are not happy with this group, and the disgruntled voices aren’t solely relegated to the leadership. A coalition of Buddhist groups have publicly condemned the service since Amazon launched it in 2015.
The for-hire priests defend their service, saying they are reaching out to those with real legitimate needs.
Buddhists traditionally give tips to their priests, and those who defend the for-hire group say this is no different, the Times reports.
Those who oppose the service think it demeans the value of both the priests and the religious experience. The fact that one can just click a button and purchase the service of a holy person as if they are purchasing a lamp doesn’t sit well with many of the traditional Buddhists in Japan.
The group has added 100 new priests to the mix and expects to have around 12,000 customers in 2016, the Times reports.
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