Buddhism - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Buddhism


U.S. presses China on Panchen Lama 25 years after disappearance

May 15, 2020 - 10:31 AM

On May 14, 1995, the exiled Dalai Lama recognized six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama. The boy was taken into custody 3 days later and has not been seen since.

MISSING. In this file photo taken on May 17, 2013 Pro-Tibetan protestors hold picures of Gendun Cheokyi Nyima (the Panchen Lama) during a demonstration outside the Chinese consulate in Barcelona in Barcelona. Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP

Vietnamese dissident monk who was a Nobel Prize nominee dies at 93

Feb 23, 2020 - 2:46 PM

Head of the banned Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, Thich Quang Do has spent most of his life advocating for religious freedom and human rights in communist-run Vietnam

DISSIDENT MONK. In this file photo, Vietnam's dissident Buddhist monk Thich Quang Do sits inside the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Ho Chi Minh City on July 27, 2007. Photo by Aude Genet/AFP

30,000 monks attend mass alms-giving in Myanmar

Dec 08, 2019 - 5:23 PM

They meditate, pray and collect alms in an event meant to tighten the relationship of 'monks and Buddhists' in Myanmar and Thailand, and to 'strengthen the monkhood' in the region

GIVING ALMS. Monks line up for alms during the alms-giving ceremony to 30,000 monks organize by the region government of Mandalay affiliated with Dhammakaya Foundation at Chanmyathazi Airport in Mandalay on December 8, 2019. Photo by Kyaw Zay Win/AFP

Water battles with elephants kick off Thai New Year

Apr 11, 2019 - 6:05 PM

Traditionally marked by paying respects to elders and sprinkling water over Buddha figures at local temples, the Songkran holiday has largely evolved into a raucous water fight

SONGKRAN. Revellers and elephants splash water at each other during a ceremony to celebrate the Buddhist New Year, locally known as Songkran, in Ayutthaya on April 11, 2019. Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP

Scepticism as Myanmar announces repatriation of first Rohingya family

Apr 15, 2018 - 10:38 AM

(UPDATED) Bangladesh and Myanmar are supposed to begin repatriation in January but the plan is repeatedly delayed as both sides blame the other for a lack of preparation

REFUGEE. File photo of fleeing Rohingya refugees rests under a makeshift shelter near Ukhiya on the Bangladesh border on August 27, 2017, after violence erupted in bordering Myanmar's Rakhine state. AFP PHOTO / Sam JAHAN

#PugadBaboy: Non Verbal Cues

Dec 29, 2017 - 11:00 AM

Pope urges Myanmar Buddhist clergy to tackle 'prejudice and hatred'

Nov 29, 2017 - 6:50 PM

Using delicately chosen words, Pope Francis urges the country's highest Buddhist body – the Sangha – to help tackle intolerance and hatred

SPIRITUAL LEADERS. Pope Francis (R) walks with Bhaddanta Kumarabhivasma (center L), chairman of state Sanga Maha Nayaka Committee, during a meeting in Yangon on November 29, 2017. Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

Dalai Lama says Buddha would have helped Myanmar's Muslims

Sep 11, 2017 - 3:31 PM

The top Buddhist leader is the latest Nobel peace laureate to speak out against the violence

In this file photo, the Dalai Lama gestures as he arrives to deliver a speech at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, eastern France, on September 15, 2016.  Frederick Florin/AFP/File

Thai generals lead royal funeral pyre ceremony

Feb 27, 2017 - 2:37 PM

Prime Minister Prayut Chan O Cha a former army chief who seized power in 2014 leads the ceremony

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha makes an offering during a religious ceremony in honor of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej next to the Grand Palace in Bangkok on February 27, 2017. Lilian Suwanrumpha/AFP

A look at religion in Indonesia 71 years since independence

Aug 17, 2016 - 6:15 PM

Indonesia is religiously tolerant relative to other countries but it has its own challenges to achieving religious harmony

RELIGIOUS HARMONY. Indonesia faces its own challenges in achieving religious harmony. File photo by EPA/MAST IRHAM

Thousands gather at Thai temple as police fail to arrest abbot

Jun 16, 2016 - 4:55 PM

Devotees prevent authorities from arresting Phra Dhammachayo the temple s 72 year old abbot who faces allegations that he accepted embezzled funds

epa05368540 Thai devotees meditate at the Dhammakaya Temple in Pathum Thani province, Thailand, 16 June 2016. The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) entered into the temple on 16 June, with a search warrant to arrest and start negotiations with Dhammakaya Temple abbot Phra Dhammachayo after a court approval on 15 June. Phra Dhammachayo is ordered to meet with the DSI to acknowledge criminal charges allegedly involved with receiving and laundering stolen money after the monk's lawyer postponed meetings reportedly due to the abbot's health condition. EPA/NARONG SANGNAK

Duterte’s inauguration, Joma Sison, Euro 2016 | 6PM wRap

Jun 15, 2016 - 7:27 PM

Watch Rappler s 6PM newscast with Zak Yuson

Myanmar's Suu Kyi 'angry at being interviewed by Muslim'

Mar 26, 2016 - 12:11 PM

Peter Popham writes about the outburst in an article for The Independent published online Friday March 25 and says it was relayed to him by a reliable source

 Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi leaves after meeting with newly-appointed minister from National League of Democracy party at the parliament building in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, March 25, 2016. Photo by Hein Htet/EPA

IN PHOTOS: A look at one of Jakarta's oldest buddhist temples

Feb 08, 2016 - 3:51 PM

A look inside Vihara Bahtera Bhakti in Ancol

#PugadBaboy: Conversion punchline 2

Sep 02, 2015 - 5:00 AM

#PugadBaboy: Conversion punchline 3

Sep 02, 2015 - 5:00 AM

#PugadBaboy: Conversion

Sep 02, 2015 - 5:00 AM

China's Panchen Lama meets Xi, calls for 'national unity'

Jun 11, 2015 - 3:33 PM

Gyaincain Norbu who China appointed as its choice of 11th Panchen Lama is asked by Xi to carry on the patriotic tradition of Tibetan Buddhism during Wednesday s June 10 meeting

In this file photo, the 11th Panchen Lama, also known as Gyaltsen Norbu (C) is seen during a plenary session at the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 8, 2012. How Hwee Young/EPA

China lodges US protest after religious freedom criticized

May 04, 2015 - 9:40 PM

The report highlights the plight of Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims saying conditions are worse now than at any time in the past decade

‘Facebook’ monk crowdsources for goodwill in Palawan

Apr 18, 2015 - 9:56 AM

In Puerto Princesa Palawan a Buddhist monk helps solve people’s problems by logging onto Facebook and finding connections

STUDENT AND MENTOR. Under Bhante’s guidance and encouragement, Rhodora would like to have a future wherein everyday, she is helping people who grew up in the same kind of poverty she did.

Myanmar jails New Zealander over Buddha insult ad

Mar 17, 2015 - 1:52 PM

UPDATED A judge says that although Philip Blackwood posted an apology he had intentionally plotted to insult religious belief when he uploaded the mocked up photo on Facebook

IN CUSTODY. In this file photo, New Zealand citizen Philip Blackwood (C) is escorted by Myanmar policemen after his hearing at a court, Yangon, Myanmar, 18 December 2014. Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Will Pope Francis make a surprise stop in PH visit?

Jan 15, 2015 - 8:37 PM

In some of his papal trips abroad Pope Francis sneaked in events that are not part of his official itinerary

WELCOME! Pope Francis waves to students (not in picture) delivering a performance shortly after arriving at a military airbase in Manila on January 15, 2015, while President Benigno Aquino smiles. Photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Myanmar's new cardinal in plea for religious tolerance

Jan 06, 2015 - 8:58 PM

If religious leaders show unity their followers will gradually gain greater understanding and I think the violence will then lessen says Charles Maung Bo Myanmar’s first cardinal

UNITY. Newly appointed cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar talks during an interview at his office in Yangon on January 6, 2015. Pope Francis on January 4 named 20 new cardinals, a majority of them from Africa, Asia and Latin America, increasingly key areas as the Roman Catholic Church's support shifts from its traditional European stronghold. Photo by Soe Than Win/AFP

No Pope meeting for Dalai Lama as Vatican eyes China ties

Dec 11, 2014 - 9:19 PM

Sources say the Vatican decision to sidestep an opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama reflects concern over what would inevitably be a furious Chinese reaction and a desire not to jeopordize efforts to build bridges with Beijing

Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetan, reads at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany, 26 August 2014. File photo by Christian Charisius/EPA

OMG! Did you say OM?

Nov 03, 2014 - 9:30 AM

A Catholic priest cautions us that the devil may be in yoga practice I suggest that the Devil has always been in our capacity to demonize people whose spiritual practice does not conform to our own

Atheists more active on Twitter than believers – study

Oct 26, 2014 - 9:14 AM

The words most commonly tweeted across all groups are love life work and happy which goes to show that no matter what you believe in – or even if you don t believe in the first place – people tend to value a lot of the same things in the end

Myanmar website hacked, threatened over Buddhist radical story

Oct 02, 2014 - 4:11 PM

The Irrawaddy sees its main English language website briefly replaced with a black screen and notice railing against a blog it ran in Burmese about Myanmar nationalist cleric Wirathu s weekend meeting with controversial Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka

A screenshot of the hacked Irrawaddy homepage, 2 Oct 2014

Myanmar rights under the microscope at ASEAN meeting

Aug 06, 2014 - 2:37 PM

The international community has voiced increasing frustration as Buddhist nationalism appears to tighten its grip on the nation and uncertainty over press freedoms

Buddhist monks hold flowers and placards as they pray at holy Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, 04 July 2014. Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

UN envoy warns of 'permanent segregation' in unrest-hit west Myanmar

Jul 26, 2014 - 11:45 PM

The United Nations human rights envoy to the country Yanghee Lee says there was a deplorable situation in displacement camps in Rakhine state where deadly clashes 2 years ago have left some 140 000 homeless

Legislating love: Myanmar mulls religious marriage curbs

Jun 25, 2014 - 11:40 AM

The marriage law is one of four bills suggested by a hardline faction within the Buddhist clergy and put to the fledgling parliament by the president

In this photo taken on June 17, 2014, a couple cross a road before Sule pagoda in Yangon. Soe Than Win/AFP

Prayer from a 'bouquet of flowers'

Oct 26, 2013 - 7:49 PM

To revisit a historic event in October 1986 members of different faiths gather to discuss love and forgiveness

Thailand's top Buddhist leader dies aged 100

Oct 25, 2013 - 12:04 AM

The revered Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara died of a blood infection following recent surgery for an intestinal infection

REVERED. Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Somdet Phra Sangharaja turned 100 on October 3 and is considered the longest living Supreme Patriarch in Thai history. Photo by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul/Agence France-Presse

Myanmar president visits riot-hit western state

Oct 02, 2013 - 12:49 PM

President Thein Sein arrived in Rakhine on Tuesday October 1 on his first trip to the region since a wave of religious bloodshed first erupted in June 2012

'Elders' urge end to impunity for Myanmar unrest

Sep 26, 2013 - 5:12 PM

Former world leaders led by ex US president Jimmy Carter appeal for an end to impunity over a wave of anti Muslim attacks in Myanmar

Dalai Lama weighs in on Myanmar anti-Muslim violence

Sep 18, 2013 - 9:48 AM

The Dalai Lama urged Myanmar monks to act according to their Buddhist principles in a plea to end the deadly violence against the country s Muslim minority

IN PRAGUE. Tibetan spiritual leader, The Dalai Lama gestures during his press conference at the international conference FORUM 2000 in Prague, Czech Republic, 17 September 2013. EPA/Filip Singer

Fresh religious unrest breaks out in Myanmar - police

Aug 25, 2013 - 4:23 PM

Some 38 houses nine businesses and a rice mill were torched during the unrest Saturday night

Myanmar monasteries: Bootcamp for the spirit

Jul 31, 2013 - 8:00 AM

People who talk about self knowledge they need to come and do some Vipassana meditation in Myanmar

MUCH-NEEDED MEDITATION. 'It's more or less essential for anybody who wants to understand how their own mind functions'

Time magazine 'Buddhist Terror' headline irks Myanmar

Jun 24, 2013 - 6:37 PM

Myanmar slams a Time report saying it creates a misunderstanding of Buddhism

‘MISUNDERSTANDING BUDDHISM.’ Myanmar reacted angrily to a Time magazine cover story on a prominent radical monk accused of fuelling anti-Muslim violence, accompanied by the headline "The Face of Buddhist Terror". AFP/Christophe Archambault

Thich Nhat Hanh: 'Peace is every breath'

May 15, 2013 - 11:32 AM

Our spiritual practice can be there at any moment as we cultivate the energy of mindfulness and concentration

PEACE IS EVERY BREATH. Thich Nhat Hanh's meditative calligraphy. Image courtesy of Rina Angela Corpus

Myanmar unrest could develop into 'terrorism'

Oct 31, 2012 - 11:36 PM

Decades old animosity between Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims is exploding in Myanmar

FIGHTING 'TERRORISTS'. Myanmar military troops arrive in Sittwe, capital of Myanmar's western Rakhine state, on October 31, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ Soe Than WIN

Christian, Buddhist places of worship shut in Indonesia's Aceh

Oct 23, 2012 - 3:28 PM

Authorities in Indonesia s only province that uses Islamic sharia laws said they had closed some Christian places of worship and Buddhist temples following pressure from hardliners

Bangladesh deploys troops after new attacks on Buddhists

Oct 01, 2012 - 3:12 PM

Bangladesh sent in troops to guard Buddhist neighborhoods Monday October 1 after Muslim mobs carried out fresh attacks on temples and homes over a Facebook photo deemed offensive to Islam

BURNED TEMPLE. A statue of Lord Buddha is left standing amidst the torched ruins of the Lal Ching Buddhist temple at Ramu, some 350 kilometers (216 miles) from the capital Dhaka on September 30, 2012. Thousands of rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in southeastern Bangladesh Sunday over a photo posted on Facebook deemed offensive to Islam, in a rare attack against the community. AFP PHOTO

Dalai Lama sees chance of change in Tibet

Sep 27, 2012 - 9:37 PM

The Dalai Lama has hope that an upcoming change in China s leadership may offer the chance of a new approach in Tibet

HOPE FOR CHANGE. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in a file photo from the official website of his Office

Mass Myanmar monk rally backs anti-Rohingya plan

Sep 03, 2012 - 10:08 AM

Lines of clerics wearing their traditional deep red robes passed through the streets of Mandalay flanked by crowds of supporters in scenes not witnessed since a monk led protest in 2007

PROTEST. Myanmar Buddhist monks rally on the streets of Mandalay on September 2, 2012 as they support the country's president, Thein Sein, and protest against the UN over the recent violence in Rakhine state, a western part of Myanmar. Fighting between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state has left almost 90 people from both sides dead since June, according to an official estimate, although rights groups fear the real toll is much higher. Speaking a dialect similar to one in neighbouring Bangladesh, the Rohingya are seen by the Myanmar government and many Burmese as illegal immigrants. AFP PHOTO

From the heart: The calligraphy of Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Aug 21, 2012 - 10:05 AM

The 100 piece exhibit is on display at the Fo Guang Shan Temple in Manila

SOME OF THE 100-PIECE calligraphy artworks by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. All photos by Ime Morales

Taiwan same-sex union points to Asia shift on gay rights

Aug 12, 2012 - 1:52 PM

A Buddhist cleric’s decision to wed two women in Taiwan is the latest sign that obstacles to same sex unions are quietly coming down in Asia