Speech by Ven. Yanjue, Vice President of CCRP, at the Webinar Hosted by CCRP in October 2020

Standing Together Through Storm and Stress, and Protecting the World with Mercy

Ven. Yanjue
Vice President of China Committee on Religion and Peace
Executive Vice President of Buddhist Association of China

Dear distinguished religious friends from different countries and regions,

The pandemic of COVID-19 outbroke suddenly at the beginning of this year. Chinese people have achieved great strategic results in fighting against COVID-19, and Chinese Buddhist circles have played an active role in preventing and controlling the pandemic.

First, to practice Buddhist sutra for the present and shoulder the responsibility of preventing and controlling the pandemic

After the outbreak of COVID-19, the Buddhist Association of China acted rapidly to answer the Chinese government’s call and proposed guidance of “it’s better to close than open, disperse than gather, stay quiet than move around, keep cultivation than take rest “to all temples. Local temples immediately turned into the mode of closing doors and keep learning, and tried best to reduce gathering by individual praying and eating replacing collective religious activities such as praying and catering together.

Second, to act on the spirit of mercy and assist in combating COVID-19

Buddhist sutra says, Buddha sees people in distress and ill, just like mothers who worry about their own sick children. Saving the world with mercy is the original wish of Buddha, and also the duties of Buddhist believers. According to incomplete statistics, Chinese Buddhist circles have donated funds and materials worth 450 million RMB for preventing and controlling the pandemic and practiced bodhisattva of relieving people from suffering, not for own happiness in pragmatic behaviors.

Third, to advocate the spirit of solidarity and carry out international cooperation

Protecting the world is the common wish of all Buddhist believers and drawing happiness out of suffering is the common action by all Buddhist Association. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, World Fellowship of Buddhists and Buddhist believers from South Korea, Japan, Viet Nam, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia, Germany, Italy, Australia, United States also showed great support to China’s fight against COVID-19 by sending condolence, or praying for Chinese people, or donating money and materials. Chinese people felt the same as people from other countries when the pandemic spread in the whole world and offered help to others in time. Since the latter of this March, on behalf of Chinese Buddhist circles, the Buddhist Association of China has donated 200,000 surgical masks, over 5,000 N95 masks, and 300 forehead thermometers to Buddhist colleagues in South Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, United States. And the local Buddhist Association also donated protective materials to South Korea, Japan, Philippine. All Buddhist followers help each other and combat the pandemic in joint hands, which is just the evidence of a community with a shared future.

Chinese Buddhist believers have realized profoundly from this battle with COVID-19 that, human beings share a common future and the same between human beings and nature. All countries have to abandon discrimination, selfishness, and unite in solidarity, then we could defeat the pandemic. Only by protecting the world, protect the environment, and restraining greed, breaking self-centeredness, could we realize long term peace and happiness.

Now, the pandemic is still threatening the whole world. China Buddhist circles will continue all protective measures in the post-pandemic New Normal to guide all believers to protect lives and nature in the spirit of mercy and advocate a health way of life and realize harmony between human beings and nature, will continue to offer help to other Buddhist colleagues within our capacity and strengthen international cooperation and will continue to do our best to promote global public health movement and build community with shared public health security. 

Thank you all.