Thursday, September 16, 2010

16th Asian Games

The 16th Asian Games will be held in Guangzhou, China this November. All the facilities for the games are already ready to welcome an estimated 14000 athletes from 45 Asian countries.

Besides the sporting facilities, The Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee is also dedicated to provide free and unfettered access for the personal religious worship of all athletes, coaches and technical officials during the Games and has nearly completed its multi-religion International Centre located within the Asian Games Town.

The religious service center will be located on the third floor of the western wing of the Area C Building in the International Zone at the Athletes' Village in the Asian Games Town.

In keeping with all stipulations set forth by the Olympic Council of Asia and the International Olympic Committee - as well as the facility built and used during the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing in 2008 - this all new facility will be a gathering place adherents of and seven religion service rooms will be available for varied faiths including Buddhism, Muslim, Catholicism, Christianity and Hinduism, as well as a non-denominational serenity room, within the all-new Asian Games Town located at the foot of Lianhua Mountain in Panyu.

Thus far, the main building of the center has been completed and will be handed over for furnishing and decoration in coming weeks.

To accommodate adherents of different faiths, the new religious service centre will be open throughout The 16th Asian Games which begins in this southern Chinese city on November 12.

In addition, some 26 temples and churches and two more religious houses for Christian activities in varied downtown areas of Guangzhou will be open to international participants.

In advance of the Games, a number of places of worship are undergoing renovation in preparation for the Games, including Liurong Temple, the Temple of the Great Buddha and the Mausoleum of Moslem Masters.

The Temple of the Great Buddha, or Dafo Temple, near the renowned downtown Beijing road will be expanded and renovation as well as the expansion of temples and churches within the local government's urban planning preparations for the Games.

In addition, the 600-year-old Chenghuang Temple (or Town's God Temple), will undergo a thorough renovation before the Asian Games begin. Located in downtown Yuexiu district, the temple will be restored to its original facade. Built in the Ming Dynasty, it was the largest temple of its time in Lingnan, or South C hina and it is seen as of equal significance as Dafo Temple.

Combining the essence of Lingnan architecture and Cantonese folk arts, the Chenghuang Temple was a landmark in Guangzhou in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The temple will be used for gathering of Taoist activities after the conclusion of the Asian Games.

During the 16th Asian Games, International adherents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) will also find an active international LDS Branch located in the Tianhe District.