World Buddhist Forum shows ancient and enduring ties of Chinese religion

China 24

The fifth World Buddhist Forum is set to close in Eastern China’s Fujian Province. Monks, scholars and religious experts have gathered to discuss the global, spiritual practice of Buddhism.

CGTN’s Omar Khan takes a look at the significance and future of the religion in China.

A mix of beliefs, spirituality, and religious elements, Buddhism has defined Chinese culture since the Han Dynasty. The faith developed alongside Daoism over the centuries, with the Mahayana branch the prominent form of what is known as Chinese Buddhism.

The global gathering allows people from the religious field to get together and address Buddhism and its path forward. This platform is vital to preserving spiritual values in China, a country which is home to some 240 million Buddhist followers, and some 20,000 Buddhist temples. 

However, the bigger questions that remain are how Buddhism is being practiced, and the future of the faith.

Rongdao Lai discusses the World Buddhist Forum

CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke to Rongdao Lai about the purpose of the World Buddhist Forum in China. Lai is an assistant professor at the School of Religion at the University of Southern California.