A buddhist temple, Dragon Spring Temple in Beijing, China has developed a robot monk named "XianEr" which was unveiled at the temple's National Day Gala celebration earlier this mont
Steven Seagal Wants To Rebuild Europe's First Buddhist Temple
Monday, January 24, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Ryohoji temple, built in the 16th Century, began its makeover thanks to chief monk Shoko Nakazato, who in June 2009 set up a manga-inspired sign to "tell the people that temples are a fun place to visit."
Since then though, the temple has become known as "Moe-dera" ("newly budding temple"), a reference to "moe" -- a feeling of attraction to a blossoming young girl, usually a manga character -- while "dera" means "temple."
Ryohoji now has its own theme song and CD which includes karaoke versions, fronted by Ryohoji's own character, designed by artist Toromi. A statue of the character, called Toro Benten, was revealed in a special ceremony and features a young girl with sword aloft representing the goddess of art and wisdom.
Monks are seen praying to the statue on videos at the temple's own website. The character is also played out by a young girl in costume, who invites people to festivals at the temple and has been carrying out recent ceremonies and entertaining customers at a tent maid cafe right outside the temple.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Nationality : Vietnam
Profession : Singer
He is a popular singer whose songs and personality appeal to the young people in Vietnam. Last year, he was invited by a Buddhist temple to write Buddhist songs and to perform in the temple celebration. Eventhough a Buddhist, initially he was sceptical about the idea because he has never written a Buddhist song before. However with encouragement from a monk of the temple, he finally agreed to write songs for them. He composed the music while the monk helped out in the lyrics. After the performance he was happy because he received praises not only from the audience but from the monks as well. With his new found talent, he said he might compose Buddhist songs again in the future.
A video of him singing a Buddhist song
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Believers who do not subscribe to the six state-recognized religions will tell you this is not something they can take lightly, particularly during the birth of a child, a marriage or registering for schooling. Regulations on civil registration can prevent some from getting their rights as citizens if their are true to their religions.
“I didn’t care about ID cards until I wanted to get married,” Asep Setia Pujanegara, who has faced many challenges because of his Kaharingan religion, said at a discussion in Jakarta last week.
The 40-year-old said he had filed a complaint against Bandung’s Civil Registration Agency in 2001 for refusing to register his marriage because he was not a member of one of the six approved religions.
He says the legal process took more than six years and that he “only received a copy of the Supreme Court ruling in February 2008, even though the ruling itself was issued in March 2006.”
“During the process, my wife gave birth to our first son in September 2003. Since our marriage was, at that time, not acknowledged by the state, our son’s birth certificate only recognized my wife as his official parent.”
With the ruling in hand, the couple registered their marriage and asked authorities to amend their child’s birth records.
“That experience taught me and everyone I know that to get justice in this country, if you are a believer of an [unrecognized] faith group, one has to go through a long and complicated process.”
“It also had a social and psychological impact on me, because members of my faith group were told to always be compliant to the state. They told us that we were hare-brained,” Asep said.
Under the Constitution, only Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Confucianism are recognized and protected by the state. The law makes it illegal to “publicize, recommend or organize public support” for other religions or non-orthodox versions of the approved faiths.
Jakarta resident Prayogo Al Kelik, a member of the Ajisaka faith, said the government had simply put the word “group” next to the religion category when he renewed his ID card last year.
“Previously it was only a hyphen in brackets. My wife even has ‘faith’ listed as her religion. So together we form a ‘faith group,’ ” he said with a laugh.
Asep said different interpretations of the law made at the local level made it difficult for people from unrecognized faith groups to register events such as child births and marriages.
“A pattern of institutionalized discrimination starts right from the beginning, when you apply for an ID card,” said Febi Yonesta of the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH).
“Some people recommend that ‘religion’ be removed altogether from the ID card. We used to have ‘tribe’ on the cards before, but now we don’t. So why can’t we do the same with religion and remove it altogether?”
Gendro Nurhadi, head of the traditional faith group directorate at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, acknowledged that he had received complaints from unrecognized religious groups who tried to register themselves at local administration offices.
“I would like to see where the discussion is heading. When a [decree on public administration] was issued nearly four years ago, it said the government would leave the religion section of ID cards blank in such cases. But now we see that doesn’t work on the ground,” he said.
According to Gendro, in the 1980s there were about 250 different faith groups in Indonesia.
“But we never updated the number. My directorate is trying to update our database. It’s been three years since the project began and we plan to finish it in another three years,” he said.
In theory, Indonesia acknowledges the existence of other faith groups alongside the six religions, but this is seldom true in practice. These faith groups fall under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Gendro also said that only traditional faith groups that have clear historical origin are recognized by the state.
Kristin Lilik, an official from the Ministry of Home Affairs, said the 2006 Law on Public Administration explained how those who did not adhere to one of the six religions could still be acknowledged as citizens.
“I perceived this as a localized problem, which we would follow through and remind people about at the local levels. Members of these groups could also ask for a statement from the local registration office if they fear being recognized as atheists,” she said.
Thursday, January 13, 2011