Buddha’s Light Shines in World Interfaith Harmony Week

Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) and Nusantara Foundation proudly present the panel discussion on “Interfaith Prayer, Healing and Community Service in the Cause for Peace” during the 2015 World Interfaith Harmony Week on February 5th.

H.M. King Abdullah II of Jordan first proposed World Interfaith Harmony Week at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010. A month later, UN unanimously adopted the proposal and the first week of February becomes the World Interfaith Harmony Week. Operating under the imperative need for religious tolerance, the harmony week provides a safe platform for people of good will to show the world the importance of religious harmony.

Hundred of delegates, scholars and religious leaders from different religions gathered in the ECOSOC chamber to discuss the prospect of interfaith harmony. Through constructive dialogues, leaders from various civil societies and religious groups hoped to facilitate peace, tolerance, mutual understanding and respect among all people, especially when 2014 proved to be a challenging year for world peace.

“We are living in a very challenging time,” said Imam Shamsi Ali, the founder of Nusantara Foundation and the co-chair of the panel, during the opening remark. In 2014, the world has witnessed terrorist attacks in France, ISIS insurgencies, and much violence in the name of religion. “These actions are unacceptable and fully condemned”, said Ali.

The key to solving religious conflict is through nurturing mutual religious and cultural understanding, said Muhammad Anshor, the Deputy Permanent Representatives of Indonesia. “Peace and harmony are not stable, continuing efforts are needed to promote them,” he said.

Promoting peace and harmony has been the mission of BLIA. Venerable Chuehchuan Shih and Youwang Shih, along with dozens of volunteers and BLIA Young Adult Division members, attended the discussion. During the panel, Ven. Youwang Shih emphasized the importance of communication in the effort of building lasting peace.

Nowadays, it is easy for people to communicate through social media and travel around the world, yet miscommunications still causes much misfortunes in the world, said Ven. Youwang. The lack of tolerance, mutual forgiveness, understanding and respect construct a mental barrier between people, which leads to discrimination and outbursts.

The keys to break the vicious cycle are kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. Ven. Youwang also advocates for the practices of three acts of goodness: doing good deeds, speaking good words, thinking good thoughts.

“Let’s fill the world with compassion and kindness,” said Ven. Youwang. “ And bring joy to all those around us.”

The BLIA Young Adult Division members performed a song called “Harmonize” which was written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun and composed by one of the YAD members in the closing ceremony.




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BLIA participated into the panel discussion in UN Interfaith Week.



World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event to be observed during the first week of February starting in 2011. World Interfaith Harmony Week was proclaimed to be adopted on 20 October 2010. As mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace, the World Interfaith Harmony Week could establish a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

The Interfaith Harmony Week event on Friday Feb. 7th, 2014 was organized by United African Congress and Give Them a Hand Foundation partnered with Buddha’s Light International Association, the Nusantara Foundation and the Diasporan Touch organization.  To honor the late Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela’s great contribution to the global civil rights, the theme of this year’s event was set as TOLERANCE, FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION.  Ven. Miao Wei representing BLIA attended the panel discussion. During the discussion, representatives from Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Buddhism spoke the prayer at the beginning of the event, and then share their perspective of the value of TOLERANCE, FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION from different religions. Panels reached the agreement that tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation should be honored and is a must to reach global peace. Different religions could be viewed as different ways to reach this same goal, which is to make our world a better place, a pure land with hope and happiness. With this same goal in mind, we should tolerate the differences, forgive intended or unintended hurts, and reconcile with each other.


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2013 BLIA brief summary.

2013 is the 10th year since BLIA was recognized as an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations in December 2003. As always, BLIA has been dedicated to the “UN Millennium Development Goals – MDG”. At the end of this special year, we would love to share our achievement with you of some of our long-term programs.

1. “Zero Hunger ” Campaign

BLIA Paraguay Chapter has launched the “Zero Hunger” campaign since 2001, and has been serving the underprivileged population for 12 consecutive years. Up till Augst 2013, 338 soy milk machines have been donated, and 93 “soy milk stations” established. Although the soy milk stations are poorly equipped, the servie continuously caters to the need of underprivileged families by providing 2~3 dyas of soy milk per week. Moreover, ther stations also offer soy bean dregs food products available and cooking classes. Every month, the 93 soy milk stations provide 71,291 liters of free soy milk for 4,296 families, benefitting more than 15,287 people. This campaign becomes a vital food source for numerous families.

2. “Sons of Zu Lai” Project

Under the guidance of BLIA World Headquaters President, Venerable Master hsing Yun, the “Son of Zu Lai” program was developed in 2003 to alleviate the social, educaional, and health issues in the farming villages of Sao Paulo that have been plaguing the community. The initial stage of the plan was to provide relief aid for 108 youths aged from 7 to 18 in need of care, offering services such as food delivery, English lessons, intergrated educational programs, etc.

Besides providing children from slums the opportunity for education and vocational skills, the “Sons of Zu Lai” also foster moral ethics of making the right choices in life with the right views and integrity. The project received notable recognition from the local government which allocated 750 square meters of land for the construction of “Luminar Education Center” in 1002, building a learning environment with better facilities. By 2013, the “Sons of Zu Lai” program has been operating for ten consecutive years, and up to 3024, has counseled close to 800 youths, transforming the lives for the better.

3. Hope Schools in rural China

From 1996 till 2013, close to a hundred hope schools have been built in China. Hope Schools aim to achieve universal primary education, and provide tens of thousands of students an open and bright learning facility so children can study in a more conducive environment. BLIA Hong Kong also provides subsidies fro teachers and staff for encouraging them to nurture students; scholarships are awarded to distinguished students for their earnest and diligent learning. In addition, all students receive dictionaries, pencil boxes, and candy. The establishment of Project Hope School provides many needy children the opportunity to go to school and have a bright future.

4. Free adults training in Africa.

Knowing the fact that thousands of South African young adults fail to find a job due to lack of education and training, BLIA chapters in Africa has begun to provide free computer lessons since 2005 for both genders. The training contents has been expended compared at the start stage. Currently, there are classes teaching basic computer Word and caculating skills, including MOS, A+, Pastel Accounting, MTA, MCITP, Schoolnet etc. From October 1, 2010 to August 31, 2013, this program has been effective in increasing employment rates locally and enhacing employment opportunities and rights for women.

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Master Hsing Yun Received “World Ecological Safety Award”


At the beginning of this October, BLIA’s founder, Master Hsing Yun received the “World Ecological Safety Award” from the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization (IESCO). Continue reading

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