The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
Buddhism in Hong Kong
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Buddhism, often practiced with Taoism, is the majority religion of Hong Kong. 90% of the population of Hong Kong are thought to practice an eclectic mixture of the two, sometimes combined with other practices. ). The numbers of Buddhists are approximately 700 thousand.
There are more than 600 temples in the HKSAR (Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region). The history of some of these temples can be traced back to more than 700 years ago, while some others have been built in recent years. Notable temples include the Wong Tai Sin Temple located in the Wong Tai Sin District in Kowloon. This popular temple is dedicated to the Taoist deity, Wong Tai Sin. The Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill is a group of temple structures in Tang Dynasty's architectural style. It is now open to the public following the completion of its redevelopment in 2000.
The Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island is famous for the outdoor bronze statue, Tian Tan Buddha, which attracts a large number of visitors during the weekends and holidays. It is now linked to the city's latest tourist attraction Ngong Ping 360. The cable car and park complex is built around a Buddhism theme, featuring sites of the Wisdom Path and the Po Lin Monastery.
Buddhists' organizations and temples in Hong Kong have long been involved in social welfare and education in the city. The Buddhist's Association of Hong Kong operates a dozen primary and secondary schools, hospices and elderly homes as well as centres for youth and children in Hong Kong
Famous teachers in the early 20th century include the four kings (四大王), they were: Mau Fung (慈悲王茂峰法師)，Fat Ho (福報王筏可大和尚)，Hoi Yan (楞嚴王海仁法師)，and Yuen Sum (法華王遠參老法師). After them, there are Kok Kwong (覺光法師), Sai Chan (洗塵法師) and successor Chi Wai (智慧法師), Wing Sing (永惺法師), and Shing Yat (聖一法師). Younger teachers include Wing Sing's successor Fun Wan (寬運法師).
The leadership of mainstream buddhists organizations have aligned themselves with the establishment in Hong Kong. For example, high-ranking Buddhist Association's executives have openly endorsed the re-election of the city's Chief Executive Donald Tsang. Several of the association's members were on the drafting committee of the Basic Law of Hong Kong's mini constitution].
Under the leadership of the former Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa, the SAR government formally recognized the influence of Buddhism in Hong Kong. In 1997 the SAR government designated one public holiday in May or June to mark Buddha’s birthday, which replaced the Queen’s birthday. This year Buddha’s birthday is on May 24. Tung himself is a Buddhist and participated in major, widely publicised Buddhist activities in Hong Kong and China.
Academic studies and research of Buddhism in Hong Kong have thrived over the past 10 years. The University of Hong Kong has a Centre of Buddhist Studies. The Chinese University of Hong Kong also has a Centre for the Study of Humanistic Buddhism.