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Chung Tai Chan Monastery opens first-ever branch in Central Europe
The China Post news staff
April 9, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Four years after its endeavor to propagate Buddhism in Linz, Austria, the Chung Tai Chan Monastery (中台襌寺) recently celebrated the grand opening of the Chung Tai Zen Center of Linz, also called the Zen Buddhism Center in Austria (奧地利普法精舍). This is the monastery's 108th worldwide branch and the first outpost in Central Europe.
The opening ceremony, featuring an ascension of Buddha pedestal and a Buddhist scripture study assembly, was presided over by Master Jien-Deng (見燈), who flew in all the way from Taiwan. More than 140 worshippers, including overseas Chinese, locals and representatives from Taiwan, Italy and Germany, graced the event by their presence. Sixty people in the study assembly were converts to Buddhism.
Buddhism hadn't been recognized as a legitimate religion until 30 years ago. Two masters, Jien-Shun (見馴) and Jien-Muo (見模), were first posted to Linz on October 2009. Both are now in charge of the Linz center's operation and Buddhism propagation.
A representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) who attended the celebrations said in a speech that before the grand opening, he attended the 30th anniversary of the day when Buddhism was legitimized in Austria.
The MOFA representative noted that the anniversary attendees were about 500 strong and come from political, cultural and religious communities in Austria. He emphasized that all these are positive signs that Buddhism is taking root and gaining more and more respect in European countries, which have strong Christian traditions.
The official said that with Jien-Shun and Jien-Muo collaborating with the faithful, Chung Tai Chan Monastery finally managed to establish the Linz center as a Buddhist land of sublimity which will initiate a new era of Buddhism dissemination in Europe for the monastery.
Linz is Austria's third-largest city and biggest industrial base, located in the country's north. Chinese expatriates in the city mainly come from Taiwan, mainland China and the Indo-China Peninsula. Ethnic Chinese refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have settled in Linz, and now number almost 4000.
Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
A little bit of a contrast to that...just bordering Austra, there is a country not so welcoming of Buddhism (at least certain forces).
There is a Tibetan Buddhist centre lead by a French abbot, Shenpen Rinpoche. In 2008 the "Dharmaling Buddhist Congregation"
was acknowledged by the Slovenian state as a church (as perhaps the fifth such entity in Slovenia) and there was a special agreement,
according to which the Rinpoche started promoting ethic into the education from a non-religious approach.
He has been harrassed and blackmailed by a group of people (most likely close to one of the Christian churches) for several years. There was
an article run spreading fake information about pedophilia (he has two adopted sons) and that he was wanted by INTERPOL on such basis.
He received several dead threats and was assaulted one time, until last year he was stabbed with a knife twice. He miraculously survived and as far as I know
is staying in Slovenia because of the trial going on.
Slovenia is a very small country.
I met him twice in Budapest, he is a very good teacher with great samadhi...I believe.
Not that I want to dwell on such violent stories, just found it somehow relevant to mention.
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