Posts Tagged ‘Buddhism’

Transgender inclusion? World’s major religions take varying stances on policies toward trans people

Monday, April 15th, 2024

The Vatican has issued a new document rejecting the concept of changing one’s biological sex. This is a setback for transgender people who had hoped Pope Francis might be setting the stage for a more welcoming approach from the Catholic Church. World Religions Around the world, major religions have diverse approaches to gender identity, and Read more

Catholics and Buddhists join to erase Vietnam War hostility

Monday, May 23rd, 2022

Simon Duong Ngoc Hai pays regular visits to his close Buddhist friends, plays chess with them, discusses social and religious issues and learns practical skills such as growing bonsai, yellow apricot flowers and orchids from them. Hai also invites them to attend Christmas parties at his home and enjoys their frequent visits. Many of them Read more

Japanese temples hold funerals for unwanted dolls

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Throughout the year, temples across Japan hold a “ningyo kuyo” (人形供養), a funeral ritual for unwanted dolls — especially traditional dolls. The Shinto belief of animism teaches that everything can have a spirit or soul. The doll funeral speaks to this idea. Read more

A robotic priest that preaches sermons

Monday, August 26th, 2019

A 400-year-old temple in Japan is attempting to hot-wire interest in Buddhism with a robotic priest it believes will change the face of the religion – despite critics comparing the android to “Frankenstein’s monster”. The android Kannon, based on the Buddhist deity of mercy, preaches sermons at Kodaiji temple in Kyoto. Read more

Buddhist Temple with golden statue of David Beckham.

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

There’s a Buddhist temple in Bangkok that has a golden statue of David Beckham himself built into its altar If you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t necessarily it because rather than being a free-standing sculpture like those of the Buddha, Beckham’s image is actually carved into the altar itself. Read more Watch video

5 facts about Buddhists around the world

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Buddhists across Asia are preparing to celebrate the birthday of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as Gautama Buddha and was the founder of Buddhism. The Buddha is believed to have been born roughly 2,500 years ago in what is today Nepal. Read five facts about Buddhists

Meticulous sand mandala in Christchurch scattered

Monday, September 4th, 2017

About 200 people packed into Christchurch’s Te Hapua: Halswell Centre on Saturday to witness a sand mandala dissolution ceremony, performed by visiting Tibetan monks. Crushed marble-coloured sand was sprinkled to form a “cosmogram”, representing a world in perfect harmony. Continue reading

Thai official removed after pressure from Buddhist groups

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Thailand’s junta has removed the head of the national Buddhism office, after religious groups called on the government to sack him over his plans to clean up scandal-hit monasteries. But Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said it wasn’t a punishment. Pongporn Pramsaneh, who joined the National Office of Buddhism in February, had vowed to reform Thailand’s Read more

Interreligious dialogue with Mammon?

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Shortly after my ordination and assignment to Japan, an elderly Japanese priest told me about an experience he had as a young man sometime before World War II. A European bishop was visiting Tokyo, and the then-young priest was assigned to be his tour guide for a day. In the morning, they went to the Read more

Philip Blackwood a victim of Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

A Myanmar court has jailed a New Zealand bar manager, Philip Blackwood, and two Myanmar colleagues for two and a half years for insulting religion by using a psychedelic image of Buddha wearing headphones to promote their bar. Myanmar’s semi-civilian government has lifted restrictions on freedom of speech, association and media, but reforms have been accompanied by Read more