A senior Chinese monk's views on peace

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Ven. Master Xuecheng     Time:2015-03-15 09:36:49
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We should strive to put a final end to religious conflicts in the world.

"We should let religions be a peace-building force rather than a source of turmoil in Asia in particular, and the world in general." "We should strive to put a final end to religious conflicts in the world."

"Against the background of globalization, we should employ the thought of harmony within diversity  in healing traumas caused by the confrontation between civilizations."

Ven. Xuecheng, Vice President and Secretary-General of the Buddhist Association of China (BAC), explained his views on peace to the reporter during his attendance at the Seventh Asian Conference on Religions and Peace (ACRP) in Manila, the Philippines.

Prior to the interview, Ven. Xuecheng was browsing news on the Internet. It has become an important way of cultivation for the Venerable to watch constantly the changes in the world.

In his speech prepared for the Conference, Ven. Xuecheng enumerated a variety of challenges that our world is facing, such as ecological crises, wealth polarization, power politics, financial crises, terrorism, separatism and extremism.

"In the face of the realities of human beings, we can't help feeling the pains in our hearts," he said. Phenomena inimical to peace still exist in the world today, such as stirring up ethnic hatred and slaughters, and religious conflicts, playing up cultural discrimination and confrontation between civilizations, provoking racial disputes, national separatism and ideological confrontations. These kinds of words and deeds are nothing but a betrayal to the religious wisdom as well as a deviation from the great religious teachings.

Ven. Xuecheng said that peace is the eternal pursuit of human beings, but it would never be achieved without everyone's efforts. All the major religions in the world should, in the interest of the common human welfare, refrain from narrow-mindedness and prejudice to enhance mutual understanding and communication, mutual appreciation and tolerance so as to make the harmony and peace among religions and religious followers an excellent model of harmonious relationship for human groups and individuals.

The reporter was deeply impressed by the profound self-cultivation and extensive wisdom of Ven. Xuecheng. After giving an overall survey of the religions of the world, Ven. Xuecheng pointed out that peace and harmony among Chinese religions have set a fine example for Asian and even global religious communities.

"There are five major religions in China: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism. We all regard peace as our motif and goal. These five religions have been getting along well with each other in China. Never have any religious wars or conflicts happened among them, which has  hardly been the case with other countries."

Ven. Xuecheng said that traditional Chinese culture and Chinese religions have, first of all, invariably called for "harmony" and carried forward the idea of "harmony within diversity," which is all the more important under the circumstances of globalization. "During the Cold War, there existed confrontation between East and West. Now, there are again certain voices in the West advocating confrontation between Eastern and Western civilizations. Yet against the new background of globalization, the Chinese religions can tap into the spirit of 'harmony' for the purpose of healing the traumas caused by the confrontation between civilizations."

To achieve such a goal, Ven. Xuecheng has kept himself busy each year attending numerous interfaith conferences and forums, taking advantage of each chance to actively spread the spirit of "harmony."

Ven. Xuecheng said: "Such exchanges help the followers of different faiths as well as their religious leaders to gain greater consensus on how to cope with the new problems of this era and the common issues faced by human race. Moreover, they can reduce the disputes caused by deviation in understanding the issues that have a bearing on the survival and wellbeing of mankind." 

China News Service report by correspondent Xu Chang’an from Manila, Oct0ber 19, 2008. The original title: A Senior Chinese Monk’s Views on Peace: A Special Interview of Ven. Xuecheng, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China.


Editor:Jenny Zhang
Tags:peace, religious conflicts

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