Taiwan, China to cohost 2nd World Buddhist Forum in March

Central News Agency, Feb 23, 2009

Taipei, Taiwan -- Buddhist organizations in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong will jointly hold the second World Buddhist Forum, which will open March 28 in Wuxi in China's Jiangsu province and conclude in Taipei on April 1.

The forum is organized by the Buddha's Light International Association in Taiwan, the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, the Buddhist Association of China, and the China Religious Culture Communication Association.

According to the organizers, about 2,000 participants from Buddhist circles in 60 countries will attend the forum when it opens.

They include Buddhist leaders and academics from the United States, the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, South Korea, and Japan.

The theme of the forum is "A Harmonious World, A Synergy of Conditions." There will also be 16 subthemes, including "Opportunities and Challenges for Buddhist Education, " "The Reflection and Construction of Buddhist Practice System, " "Buddhism and Science, " and "Buddhist Charity and Care, " and "Inter-Sectarian Harmony in Buddhism." On March 30, some 1,000 of the participants will move the forum to Taipei to continue their discussion on eight subthemes before concluding the meeting on April 1.

Five exhibitions will take place in conjunction with the forum to display Buddhist historical relics, photographs, ceramic masterpieces, handicrafts, Chinese paintings and calligraphic works.

The first World Buddhist Forum was held in April 2006 in Hangzhou city and Zhoushan city in China's Zhejiang province. Over 1,000 participants from 37 countries took part in that forum to discuss the theme, "A Harmonious World Begins in the Mind." According to the organizers, the second forum aims to set up a high-level platform of open dialogue in the spirit of equality and pluralism for those who love the world, care for all sentient beings, accept Buddhism, and have a loving heart to conduct exchanges and collaboration.