Five religions associated
Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity are the five main religions in China. They all offered donations, prayers and hands-on assistance in disaster areas.
To date some 700 million yuan has been received from religious organizations nationwide.
Religious leaders also prayed both for the victims and the survivors. A "Buddhist prayer meeting for the Sichuan earthquake" was held inside the Baoguang Temple, Chengdu on May 29. The unprecedented prayer meeting attracted dignitaries and masters from around China, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
A "Buddhist prayer meeting for the Sichuan earthquake" is held in the Baoguang Temple, Chengdu on May 29.
Taoists and Muslims also had separate meetings to mourn victims and gave a requiem for all the dead souls.
Not only prayer, but also help on the front line from various religious organizations impressed the Chinese.
A monk from Arhat Temple in Shifang City helps to cook for victims on May 27, 2008
A rescue team from Huayan Temple, Chongqing (consisting of monks) was the earliest public relief group to arrive in Beichuan County on May 13. Another brave team hailed from Longmen Temple, Sichuan. They formed a "band of 12 monks" led by Master Hongyong. They trudged to Pengzhou City, a place that had been blocked by debris, where they rescued 45 villagers and travelers.
Although the earthquake destroyed land, it created a more intimate relationship among different Chinese religions. On May 26 and 27 Master Suquan from the Arhat Temple distributed relief supplies that he had received from other cities to other 7 religious groups, including the Shifang Christian Church, the Taoist Dawang Tao Temple and the Luoshui Mosque.
In particular, Muslims have unique dietary needs; after the quake they lacked sufficient kosher Moslem food. The Chinese government noticed this and President Hu Jingtao ordered that proper Moslem foodstuffs, as many as possible, were sent to disaster areas. Muslims also received many relief goods from other Islamic regions and organizations, such as Ningxia, Xinjiang and Gansu.