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Two World Records Created


On December 25, 2016, ten thousands of believers from 685 shrines, temples and churches brought with them 2,188 statues of deities to participate in the 2016 When Buddha Meets the Gods (Reunion of Religious Associations) event at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum. Two world records were created simultaneously, reaching a new milestone for religious cooperation, respect, and tolerance.

The participants from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, and Mainland China represented Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Yiguandao, Catholicism, Christianity, and Islam. The event features statues of Matsu and Guan Yu (a famous Chinese historical general and a Buddhist protector) from the Taiwan and Mainland China, as well as the Child Jesus, Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph from the Philippines.

At dawn, one could hear the echoes of the drum and bell, and the sound of firecrackers. Following the Yong Chun Lion Dance Team, participants began to enter along the Great Path to Buddhahood to the Main Hall. After venerating the Big Buddha in their own traditions, Venerables of Fo Guang Shan hang golden medals around the necks of the deity statues.

Wang Jin-Pyng, President of the Association of Chinese Traditional Religions, praised the event for its innovation and its enhancement in religious interactions. Most Venerable Hsin Bao, Abbot of Fo Guang Shan Monastery, commented that despite the religious differences, the human race can create a miracle if spiritual strength is put to good use in ensuring religious harmony, social welfare, and world peace.

Lin Jinbang from Meizhou Matsu Temple, who attended the event for the third time, was delighted to see more deities participating in the event each year. Nino Matillanom, Catholic representative from the Philippines, expressed in high spirit that they attended this event for three years because they believe that religions have the power to help human beings live as one and create world peace.

During the prayer ceremony, participants joined their palms as they dedicate merits to all the sentient being for a safe and peaceful world. As Wu Hua-Jiang, the adjudicator of World Record Association declared two new world records, the crowd roared with applause as they witnessed this historical moment.

Most Venerable Hsin Bao, Abbot of Fo Guang Shan Monastery, expressed that this was a “reunion of the human spirit” since peace, compassion, tolerance and equality are the common pursuit of the human race. With the same ideal, people with different faiths, languages and cultural backgrounds are able to sit down and communicate with one another; this is what makes this event a feat.

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