Hangzhou's largest Buddhist temple and one of the Gozan Temples 五山寺, Five Mountain Temples of Zhejiang 浙江 Province.|
Tiantongsi 天童寺 (Ningbo寧波)
Ayuwangsi 阿育王寺 (Ningbo寧波)
Lingyinsi 靈隱寺 Hangzhou杭州)
Jingshansi徑山寺 (Tianmushan 天目山)
In the past few years Buddhist temples in china are thriving. Old temples are being renovated and rebuilt and new temples are popping up like mushrooms. Buddhism is way ahead of Daoism in this regard, but Daoism also is beginning to rise again.
In mid April. 2006, China hosted the first international Buddhist conference in Hangzhou, China in over 50 years. This was an interesting event with Buddhists from around the world attending. Only the Dalai Lama was excluded. Commenting on this conference Francesco Sisci in the Asian times had this to say;
"This April 12-15, China hosted an international Buddhist conference in the
city of Hangzhou. With that gesture, Hu acknowledged that he recognized the
common people's need for religion, and his willingness to channel that need
toward institutional faiths.
This pragmatic move was in sharp contrast to the naive mistakes of Hu's
predecessors, whose refusal to open up to religion and stubborn resistance
to a freer flow of information led people into the arms of apocalyptic sects
preaching absurd doctrines about the end of the world. Hu's approach was a
signal of non-hostility to religion. It also tied into a large Chinese charm
offensive, the opening of Confucius Institute language centers all over the
world, starting in such cities as Paris and Berlin (see Beijing's 'soft
power' offensive, May 17).
China, the country with the largest Buddhist population, could make Buddhism
an instrument of influence in the world. Without drawing simplistic
comparisons, Buddhism could be to China what Christianity had been to the
West: a way of creating new value sets in continents and countries distant
from the Asian mindset. In this sense the People's Daily argued that
religion could be a useful tool to help the world understand China .
This new thaw is not confined to Buddhism. Even when relations are very
complicated and thorny, with a lot of opposition, Hu has decided not to shut
any door, for example with the Vatican. There have been a few clashes
between Hu's Beijing and the Holy See, but the situation now is quite
different from 2000, when China cut all contacts with the Vatican after the
canonization of 120 Chinese saints. Beijing keeps in touch with the Holy See
and apparently has even made some progress with its longtime nemesis Joseph Zen, now cardinal of Hong Kong."
(Fracesco fails to mention Daoism, but the same applies. Over the past two years there have been two international conferences on Daoism and another is scheduled for later this summer (2006) in Chengdu, Sichuan.)