Buddhist Association of China
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. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
The past presidents of the Buddhist Association of China include:
- Venerable Master Yuanying (1953)
- Geshe Sherap Gyatso (1953–1966)
- Zhao Puchu (1980–2000)
- Venerable Master Yicheng (2005–2010)
- Venerable Master Chuanyin (2010–2015)
- Venerable Master Xuecheng (2015–2018)
- Venerable Master Yanjue (2018–present)
Honorary presidents of the Buddhist association of China include:
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- Chinese Buddhism
- Chinese Buddhist canon & Taishō Tripiṭaka
- Ven. Faxian, Ven. Yijing & Ven. Xuanzang
- Ven. Taixu, Ven. Hong Yi & Ven. Xu Yun
- Hong Kong Buddhist Association
- Buddhism in China
- Silk Road transmission of Buddhism
- A Record of Buddhist Practices Sent Home from the Southern Sea
- Great Tang Records on the Western Regions
- Four Buddhist Persecutions in China
- Huichang Persecution of Buddhism
- Islamization and Turkification of Xinjiang