The Religious Sub-forum of BFA 2024 to Feature the First Roundtable Thought Event

QIONGHAI, China, March 29, 2024 — The Sub-forum on Religious Harmony and Mutual Learning Among Civilizations at the Boao Forum for Asia 2024 (“BFA 2024”) is set to feature its first-ever roundtable discussion on March 29th. Serving as a platform for imparting wisdom and demonstrating responsibility, the goal of the sub-forum is to foster meaningful exchanges and forge consensus centered around the theme “Flow of Dharma to the East and Thousands of Miles of Fellowship – Confronting Challenges and Achieving Mutual Growth Through the Wisdom and Compassion of Buddha”.

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YIN SHUN, Head of the Youth Division of China Committee on Religion and Peace (CCRP), Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China, and President of the Buddhist Association of Hainan Province (PRNewsfoto/The Buddhist Association of China)

This year’s sub-forum has attracted an unprecedented number of participants and countries, with notable attendees including:

BOUR KRY, the Great Supreme Patriarch of Dhammayutta Order of the kingdom of Cambodia;
HARADA MITSUNORI, Deputy Superintendent and Director of Zennosato Affairs Promotion Office of Daihonzan Eiheiji of Soto Zen School;
LHARKYAL LAMA, Vice Chairman of the Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) and Chief Abbot of the Palyul Ling Monastery in Kathmandu;
KIRINDE ASSAJI, Rajakeeya Panditha, Deputy Chief High prelate of Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka;
MU AE, Chairman of the Acharya Review Committee at the Education Institute of Jogye Order and Member of the Sangha Examination Council of Jogye Order;
THICH DUC THIEN, Vice President, Secretary General of Executive Council of Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, Head of Department of International Buddhist Affairs and Member of The National Assembly of Vietnam; and
YAN JUE, Vice President of the China Committee on Religion and Peace (CCRP), Co-chair of the Religions for Peace, President of the Buddhist Association of China;

At the media meeting on 28th March, religious representatives from Cambodia, China, Japan, and Nepal, representing the three major Buddhist traditions of Han Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, and Tibetan Buddhism, engaged in exchanges and interactions with Chinese media outlets, including CCTV and Xinhua News Agency. The event sought to promote mutual learning between world religions and civilizations of the East and West through the “Boao Dialogue”.

HARADA MITSUNORI commented, “I feel optimistic about future cultural exchanges between Buddhist communities in China and Japan, fostering bridges of understanding and camaraderie between our two nations.”

BOUR KRY remarked that the exchanges and cooperation between the Buddhist communities of China and Cambodia have expanded from the initial focus on Buddhist culture to encompass Buddhist education, youth development, public welfare and charity, medical and healthcare services, and ecological and environmental protection, among others.

The Chinese Buddhist community, led by YIN SHUN, Head of the Youth Division of China Committee on Religion and Peace (CCRP), Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China, and President of the Buddhist Association of Hainan Province, has played a pivotal role in strengthening the bonds between China and Cambodia. At the media conference, YIN SHUN highlighted the remarkable achievements of the past years. The Buddhist Association of China has proudly hosted eight Boao Religious Sub-Forums, eight South China Sea Buddhist Roundtables, and the “Overseas Spreading and Influence of Chinese Chan Culture – Dahongshan Forum”.

Additionally, for a decade, the organization has organized the cross-border public interest initiative known as the “Silk Road Charity and Brightness Action Tour”, providing cost-free surgical treatment to tens of thousands of cataract patients in multiple countries.

Meanwhile, the Buddhist Association of China has recruited apprentice monks from various countries to pursue advanced studies at the Nanhai Buddhist Academy, and presided over the compilation of the first and most innovative digital edition of the Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism, among other endeavors. These achievements underscore the efforts and contributions made by the religious community to engage in the process of Chinese-style modernization, promoting the sinicization of religions, and fostering consensus for the construction of the Free Trade Port. They also demonstrate that only a sinicized Buddhism can better serve Chinese-style modernization.

Since its inception in 2015, the religious sub-forum of BFA has completed eight sessions, attracting a distinctive lineup of esteemed guests representing many of the world’s religions, Nobel laureates, nationally recognized scholars, and leading journalists. These individuals, representing countries from the East and West, have converged to foster meaningful exchanges and mutual understanding on the topic of the world’s major religions and civilizations, contributing to global peace, prosperity, and the advancement of a shared future for mankind.

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