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10:35 Apr 28 2012

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Buddhist forum ends with vow to promote harmony
10:34, April 28, 2012  

China is fully committed to the freedom of religious beliefs, and it values the positive role played by all religions, a senior official said at the close of the third World Buddhist Forum in Hong Kong on Friday.

Wang Zuo'an, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, made the comment at the closing ceremony of the forum, attended by the 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, who's a senior living Buddha in Tibetan Buddhism.

His remarks were echoed by Xuecheng, vice-president of the Buddhist Association of China, who said the Hong Kong gathering has played a positive role and made a special contribution to helping people attain tranquility, promoting social harmony, maintaining world peace and improving the blessings of human beings.

"Only when all human beings have the same aspirations toward harmony and purity and have the same wholesome actions benefiting others, can world harmony be truly realized," he said. The two-day forum concluded on Friday afternoon with a declaration vowing to promote a harmonious world.

Hong Ming, executive vice-president of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, read out the declaration to more than 1,000 monks. Six vows were made for attaining genial and kind human hearts, accommodating and happy families, cordial and smooth social relationships, a secure and neighborly society, harmonious civilizations and a peaceful world.

"There is much discord in the world today, and our living environment is out of balance. People are not at peace with one another, because the right conduct is lacking in their behaviour," Hong Ming said.

It was announced at the forum that Lingshan in Wuxi City, Jiangsu province, will be the permanent venue of the World Buddhist Forum.

The event, which had the theme "Common Aspirations and Actions Towards a Harmonious World," brought together eminent monks, Buddhist leaders from various countries and prominent Buddhist scholars from countries and regions including the Republic of Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Australia, the United States and Europe.

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