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Chinese Buddhists Propose World Buddhism Forum

Chinese Buddhists have proposed to host a "World Buddhism Forum" sometime in the future. The offer was made at the on-going tripartite Buddhist conference in Beijing. Over 400 Buddhist leaders and delegates from China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan have gathered. Early Saturday morning, they spent some time praying for peace.

They are Buddhist leaders from 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, Sikayamoni, is enshrined.

Sheng Hui, vice-president of Buddhist Association of China, said "China, the Republic of Korea and Japan, three neighboring countries with over 1,000 year history of friendly relations. They also share very close religious ties. Exchanges among the three nations have helped to expand Buddhism in a larger extend, and made contributions to the improvement of mankind."

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.

This was the 7th meeting, and the 3rd time to be held in Beijing. The other four meetings were hosted by Kyoto, Japan and Seoul, South Korea.

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, some ten years ago. It has helped to expand the special religious links among the three nations, where Buddhism is one of the largest religions.

(CCTV.com October 25, 2004)

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