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Backgrounder: Buddhism in Hong Kong

04-26-2012 17:14 BJT

HONG KONG, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Buddhism is one of the traditional Chinese religions. As a Chinese city, Hong Kong's dominant religion is, unsurprisingly, Buddhism. It is estimated that out of Hong Kong's seven million population, one million believe in Buddhism.

Buddhism has a considerable number of adherents in Hong Kong and there are more than 400 temples in the territory. The history of some of these temples can be traced back to more than 700 years ago, while some others have been built in recent years.

Buddhism practices are conducted mainly in monasteries, nunneries and hermitages. Virtually most monasteries are open to the public, as well as the temples, which are especially crowded at Buddhist festivals.

Buddhist organizations help to meet welfare, educational and medical needs in Hong Kong, either directly or by contributing to charitable organizations. Many temples have donation boxes to collect money for charities, schools or hospitals.

The major Buddhist festival takes place on Sakyamuni Buddha's Birthday, on the eighth day of the fourth month in the lunar calendar. Devotees pay respect to Sakyamuni Buddha and other Buddhas to show their devotion.

Buddhism has been gaining status and importance in Hong Kong, while the Buddhist ideology is now an important element of local ethical education.

As the largest and most prestigious Buddhist organization in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Buddhist Association operates more than 40 units which include hospitals, schools, elderly services, youth services, childcare services, cemeteries and magazines.

Embracing a primary principle of uniting all Buddhist monks and followers, the association is committed to practicing Sakyamuni Buddha's teachings and guiding all mortals. The Association now plays a bridging role to facilitate communication between Buddhist groups and the central and Hong Kong governments.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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