World Buddhist forum to be held in China next year

Sindh Today, Nov 23, 2008

Nanjing, China -- Buddhist monks and scholars from around the world will gather at a forum in China in March next year to discuss how Buddhism can contribute to the building of a harmonious world, organizers said Sunday.

The second World Buddhist Forum is to be held in Wuxi city in east China’s Jiangsu province March 28, 2009.

The meeting will then move to Taipei in Taiwan, and close there April 1, Buddhist Master Xuecheng said at a press conference in Wuxi.

He said Buddhist monks and scholars from more than 20 countries, including India, the US, Britain, Sri Lanka and Thailand, had expressed their intention to attend the forum.

Xuecheng, vice-president of the Buddhist Association of China, said the event was jointly organized by the association, Buddha’s Light International Association, the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, and the China Religious Culture Communication Association.

The forum will focus on the spirit of harmony, regarded as the essence of Buddhist culture, and the role that Buddhism can play in building a harmonious world, he said.

He also expressed the hope that the event would contribute to increased exchanges and understanding among the Buddhists in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The first global Buddhist forum was held in Hangzhou city in east China in April 2006. Statistics published at that time showed around 100 million Chinese, or one in every 13, are followers of Buddhism.

Buddhism was introduced into China by Indian missionaries over 2,000 years ago.