Roundtable on Buddhism in the the Russian Federation Council

October 25, The Federation Council held a round table "Buddhism as a factor in development of civil society, inter-religious peace and harmony in the Russian Federation".

The representatives of Buddhism make a great contribution to interfaith and interethnic dialogue – O.Tsepkin

The senator spoke at the Round Table in the course of which the role of Buddhism in development of civil society and interfaith peace and harmony in Russia has been discussed.

Mr. Oleg Tsepkin, a member of the Federation Council Committee for Constitutional Legislation and State Construction, held the Round Table “Buddhism as a Factor of Federation”.

The senator noted that since the beginning of the 17th century Buddhism has become one of traditional religions in Russia along with Christianity, Islam and Judaism. “Unfortunately, the past century became the period of serious challenges for the Russian Buddhists. In the 1930s the followers of Buddhism and the majority of Buddhist clergy were subjected to repression in the Soviet Union”, - he said.

Oleg Tsepkin said that in modern Russia an active development of Buddhism is observed. At present in Russia there are more than one million followers of Buddhism the majority of which reside in the territory of its historical spread: Buryatia, Irkutsk and Chita regions, the Trans-Baikal Territory, Kalmykia and Tuva. The Buddhist monasteries (datsans) and educational centers are being constructed.

The Round Table “Buddhism as a Factor of Development of Civil Society,
Interfaith Peace and Harmony in the Russian Federation”.

According to the parliamentarian, the representatives of the Buddhist community take part in activities of civil society institutions. “And it is naturally that many spiritual leaders of the Russian Buddhists are members of the constitutional bodies promoting development of civil society and strengthening of interfaith peace and harmony in the Russian Federation”.

Oleg Tsepkin noted that the representatives of Buddhism make a significant contribution to maintenance of interfaith and interethnic dialogue; their activities promote strengthening of family values, patriotism, friendship and mutual understanding between people. “The fundamental Buddhist values – non-violence, religious, ethnocultural, racial, social and gender tolerance and peacemaking, are consonant with the values of civil society”, - he underlined.

Mikhail Fedotov, Chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society, expressed the opinion that every civilized person should know the basics of all traditional religions of the country where he lives.

Arnold Tulokhonov, a member of the Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, a representative of the government executive body of the Republic of Buryatia, Sanjay Lama, a permanent representative of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia in Moscow, a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, and others participants also spoke in the meeting.

The event was attended by senators and representatives of the regions where Buddhism is traditionally confessed as well as the members of religious organizations and scholars.



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