Monks to take Buddhism to Muslim countries via Net

Indo-Asian News Service, Nov 10, 2004

Patna, India -- Monks will use information technology tools like the Internet to spread Buddhism in Muslim-dominated countries of Southeast Asia.

The decision was taken at an international meet of Buddhist youths in Bihar's Bodh Gaya, one of the world's most sacred Buddhist spots.

The first general conference of the World Buddhist Sangha Youth, which ended Tuesday, was attended by 200 monks from 29 countries including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the US, New Zealand, Nepal, Myanmar and Japan.

Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga, only the second president of her country to visit Bodh Gaya after Ranasinghe Premadasa, inaugurated the meet Sunday.

"We are hopeful that the Buddha's teachings will draw the attention of people in Malaysia," a monk said.

Bodh Gaya is revered around the world for its Mahabodhi temple and the Bodhi tree, a banyan tree under which Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment some 2,500 years ago.