Chinese Buddhists have proposed to host a World Buddhism Forum sometime in the future. The offer was made at the ongoing tripartite Buddhist conference in Beijing.
The conference attracted over 400 Buddhist leaders and delegates from China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan, three of the most influential countries in Asia.
Before they gathered for the tripartite Buddhist conference, they took time out to pray at the Lingguang Monastery, where the sacred tooth of the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni, is enshrined.
Sheng Hui, vice-president of Buddhist Association of China, said that China, the Republic of Korea and Japan share very close religious ties, and that exchanges among the three nations have helped to expand Buddhism in a larger extend.
Master Yi Cheng, President of the Chinese Buddhist Association, headed the Chinese Buddhists at the ceremony. The prayer meeting focused on world peace, prosperity, and the friendship among the three nations.
The three sides agreed to hold a World Buddhist Forum sometime in the future in China. They believe this initiative is an extension of the tripartite conference, and could help popularize Buddhism worldwide.
Buddhism was introduced to China at around the 1st century, before spreading elsewhere.
The idea of such tripartite Buddhist gathering was initiated by late President of the Buddhist Association of China, Zhao Puchu, about ten years ago. It has helped to expand the special religious links among the three nations, where Buddhism is one of the largest religions. This was the seventh meeting, and the third time to be held in Beijing.
(CCTV.com October 24, 2004)