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Special> Video> Latest
UPDATED: March 12, 2009
Religious Leaders Promote Social Harmony

Religious leaders in China say promoting social harmony should be one of their tasks. They say any form of separation is against religious doctrines. CCTV reporter Han Bin interviewed many who are attending this year's political sessions in Beijing.

A significant moment in China's religious affairs.

Leaders of the country's major religions are conducting democratic consultation. They want to use religion to promote social harmony. And their focus is Tibet.

Xue Cheng, Vice president of Buddhism Association of China, said, "The Buddhism Association feels great pity and sorrow for the Lhasa riots last March. Some of the lamas have even participated in the riots. This is completely against the doctrine of Buddhism, which promotes kindness and salvation. Extreme actions of killing and attacking are not allowed."

Master Xue Cheng is grateful that his country provides a stable environment that allows Buddhist followers to practice their religion. He says it's the obligation of any citizen to love the motherland. Loving one's country is one of the four graces of Buddhism.

Xue Cheng's proposal this year is to honor the patriotic 10th Panchen Lama, who died 20 years ago.

Many religious leaders say the great majority of Tibetans and religious followers will not agree to any form of independence.

Liu Bainian, Vice president of Chinese Catholic Patriotic Assoc., said, "Any religious believer, especially a living Buddha, should first of all love his country and not take up actions of separation. This goes beyond the question of belief."

These pictures are reminders of the March 14 riots in Lhasa.

The President of the China Taoist Association, Ren Farong, believes the religious Good is any behavior conducive to social progress. He says taking extreme actions is not in the interest of the people.

Ren Farong, president of China Taoist Association, said, "The doctrine of Buddha is universal salvation and the release from suffering. No matter which school of Buddhism you believe in, you should obey the doctrine. And a Buddha is someone who stands aloof. If you betray your country, your nation, and resort to extreme actions, this is not good, but evil. This is against the doctrine of Buddhism. And if someone doesn't follow these principles, how can he be called a Buddha? And what's the point of being a religious believer?"

Ren Farong hopes the religious leaders can promote social harmony, and help the country's stability.

Dorje Cezhub, NPC deputy from Tibet, said, "Great changes have taken place in Tibet over the past decades. We Tibetans are ready to present the best economic and social progress to celebrate the country's 60th anniversary."

As Tibet gains greater access to the world, China's religious leaders are hoping the world will better understand their stand on the Tibet issue.

Among the NPC deputies and CPPCC members, many are from the religious organizations across China. Their proposals and motions are not restricted to religious affairs. As China promotes a harmonious society, the unique role of religion in the country is expected to be better recognized.

(CCTV.com March 12, 2009)


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