October 27, 2008

New Buddhist Academy for Tibet

by David Masters

A Buddhist academy is to be built in Tibet, with construction already underway.

The $11.7 million project will be funded by China’s central government in Beijing.

Covering 17.4 hectares, the academy will include libraries, lecture rooms, and buildings for religious activities.

The first phase of construction is expected to be complete in 2010.

In addition to studying religion, students at the academy will be trained in other disciplines, including sociology and politics.

Government officials said students will be taught a patriotic religion with an emphasis on developing moral character.

Lobsang Gyaincain, who heads up the state-controlled United Front Work Department in Tibet, said it will be the first ever comprehensive academy for Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet.

He added that it will be an important contributor to Buddhist studies and relations with the outside world.

Tibet has over 1,700 religious buildings which are home to almost 50,000 Buddhist monks and nuns.

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