ZHENGZHOU, China -- A plan to build a new Buddhist academy in central China's Henan Province has been approved by the State Administration for Religious Affairs and the provincial government, said a spokesman for Henan Province Buddhist Association.
Located in a picturesque area along the Longtan River in Tongbai County, the new academy will be the province's first Buddhist "university."
With first-phase investment totaling 160 million yuan (about 19.3 million US dollars) and covering an area of 6.7 hectares, the new academy is set to open in three years.
The academy will enroll Buddhists monks, nuns and lay students Chinawide for classes in Buddhist literature, arts, history and religious thoughts.
The academy also mapped out a future plan to be further expanded to a tourist site that includes sight-seeing areas, an exhibition area of 100 miniature well-known Buddhist temples and Buddhist sculpture areas, according to Tongbai county government.
China currently has 34 Buddhist academies, 10,000 Buddhist temples and about 200,000 registered monks and nuns, according China Buddhist Association.