China continues efforts to contain Buddhism
HONG KONG, April 2: China is going to host the Third World Buddhist Forum in its special administrative zone, Hong Kong. This is the first time that the conference would be held outside mainland China.
Thousands of Buddhist followers, researchers and specialists from 50 countries including Nepal, South Korea, Japan, India, Thailand and USA are expected to converge at the conference, according to organizers. Buddhist Association of China and China Religious Culture Communication Association are going to host the conference in coordination with Hong Kong Buddhist Association.
The major highlight of the three-day conference will be the remnants of Shakyamuni Buddha´s skull excavated two years ago in Eastern China, informed Xeu Cheng who is vice-president of the Buddhist Association of China and a member of Chinese Pupils Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
The remnants excavated from the site of Qixia temple in Nanjing of Jiangsu province in June 2010 will be kept for public viewing for the first time.
Cheng informed that the remnants would be brought to Hong Kong by a private plane and will be safeguarded by Buddhist monks during the conference. Buddha´s teeth and the remains of other parts of his body were brought to Hong Kong from China in 1999 and 2004 respectively.
Stating that Hong Kong has cultural intimacy with China, Vice-president Cheng said that thousands of people are expected to visit the conference venue to see Buddha´s remains.
Around 10 percent of approximately 7 million people in Hong Kong are Buddhist. “The world community especially Westerners are aware about the economic progress of China, but they don´t understand the cultural aspect,” reported the government-owned English newspaper of China, China Daily, quoting Cheng.
The newspaper added that Buddhism is a major part of Chinese culture, which will serve the aim of expanding Chinese culture in the world.
China hosted the first World Buddhist Conference in Hangzhou of east China´s Zhejiang province in 2006. The second conference was held in Wuxi of Jiangsu in 2009. It has been estimated that half of the world´s one million Buddhist followers are from China.