Buddhist Association of China

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The Buddhist Association of China (BCA; simplified Chinese: 中国佛教协会; traditional Chinese: 中國佛教協會; pinyin: Zhōngguó Fójiào Xiéhuì) is a major organization of Chinese Buddhism, which serves as the official supervisory organ of Buddhism in the People's Republic of China. The association has been overseen by the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China since the State Administration for Religious Affairs' absorption into the United Front Work Department in 2018.[1] The association's headquarters are located in Guangji Temple in Beijing.


The BCA is charged with serving as a "bridge" linking Buddhists to the Chinese government by communicating government regulations to Buddhists and mobilizing them to comply with national laws.[2] It also encourages participation of Chinese Buddhists in international Buddhist fora and supports local Buddhist associations in paying clerics' salaries, in registering temples with the government, and in productively using temple labor. The association publishes a journal, Chinese Buddhism.[3]


The Buddhist Association of China was founded in 1953,[4] and was disbanded in the late 1960s during the Cultural Revolution, then reactivated following the end of that period.[4]

In 1994 Zhao Puchu tried to limit the practice of businesses and municipalities building outlandishly large mountaintop and cliffside Buddha statues. Noting that China has at least one mountaintop Buddha for each of the cardinal directions he stated “That's enough,” and clarified. “From now on, there is no need to build any more outdoor Buddha statues.” These efforts were entirely unsuccessful.[5]

In 2006, The BCA and the Hong Kong Buddhist Association hosted the second World Buddhist Forum for dialogue between Buddhist monks and scholars from 50 countries and regions. The forum lasted for four days in the city of Wuxi in Jiangsu province.[6] The organizer of events was the president of the BCA, Venerable Master Yi Cheng. The vice president is Gyaincain Norbu, a disputed 11th Panchen Lama.[7][8]

In 2017 the BCA declared the longstanding tradition that the first offerings of the new year are particularly auspicious to have no grounds in Buddhist doctrine.[9]

In August 2018 Shi Xuecheng resigned as President of the Buddhist Association of China following reports of sexual harassment by six female monks. The scandal was seen as part of the wider me too movement.[10]


The past presidents of the Buddhist Association of China include:

Honorary presidents of the Buddhist association of China include:


  1. ^ Joske, Alex (May 9, 2019). "Reorganizing the United Front Work Department: New Structures for a New Era of Diaspora and Religious Affairs Work". Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  2. ^ Congressional-Executive Committee on China, Tibet Special Report 2008-2009 Archived January 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, October 22, 2009
  3. ^ Ashiwa, Yoshiko; Wank, David L. (2009). Making Religion, Making the State: The Politics of Religion in Modern China. Stanford University Press. p. 130.
  4. ^ a b Jones, Derek (2001). Censorship: A World Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 366. ISBN 9781136798641.
  5. ^ Mingqi, Zhou. "Buddha-mania: Understanding China's Buddha Building Boom". www.sixthtone.com. Sixth Tone. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  6. ^ "2nd World Buddhist Forum opens in E Chinese city". Wuxi: Xinhua. 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
  7. ^ "China's Panchen Lama voted VP of state Buddhism body: report". Agence France-Presse. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
  8. ^ Watts, Jonathan (8 September 2003). "Struggle over Tibet's 'soul boy'". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  9. ^ Zhou, Laura. "Chinese Buddhist Association pours cold water on tradition of being first to offer incense". www.scmp.com. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  10. ^ HANGYU CHEN, ARIA. "China's Top Buddhist Monk Has Resigned Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations". time.com. Time Magazine.
  11. ^ Ownby, David; Goossaert, Vincent; Zhe, Ji; Che, Chi (2017). Making Saints in Modern China. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190494568.
  12. ^ Master Xuecheng elected president of China's Buddhist association
  13. ^ "Pagbalha Geleg Namgyai". China Vitae. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Chinese Buddhist master passes away in Shenzhen". Xinhua. 2012-04-02. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2012-04-22.

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