Buddhist contribution to society recognized
( 2003-09-25 01:01) (China Daily)
Buddhists across China should hold high the banner of patriotism and support the nation's policy of freedom of religion, a leading Buddhist said yesterday.
Master Yi Cheng, head of the Buddhist Association of China (BAC), made the remarks at the association's 50th anniversary ceremony yesterday.
"We should carry out the good tradition of Buddhism, the positive and progressive thought of `terrestrial Buddhism','' Yi Cheng said.
For the past half century, Buddhists have remained united and met the demands of society's development, said Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu.
He said the association should encourage the nation's Buddhists to give full play to their initiative and creativity to help China progress.
Buddhists have greatly contributed to the modernization of society, unity of the motherland and world peace, he said.
At the same time, the BAC should spread Buddhist culture and oppose cults and so-called "religious" activities that harm the unity of the motherland, said the vice-premier.
Only if the country becomes prosperous can Buddhism flourish, he stressed.
Hui also hopes the BAC will promote charity and foreign exchanges on the basis of equality and friendship. He called on the association to help maintain peace and tranquility in the world.
The BAC has worked hard to guarantee Buddhists religious freedom, to educate its followers and to strengthen the study of Buddhism.
An increasing number of Chinese monks have been sent abroad for further study in recent years, after receiving schooling in Buddhist theological institutes such as the Chinese Buddhist Academy.
Buddhism was introduced into China more than 2,000 years ago and has influenced Chinese traditional culture in many important ways.
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