Study finds Buddhism is the least homonegative religion

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A new study in the Journal of Homosexuality has shown that, of all the world’s religions, Buddhism is the least homonegative. “Homonegativity” is defined as “an aversion to homosexuality as a social practice or way of life.” The study looked at 79 countries to determine how religion and religiosity affect attitudes to homosexuality. Results indicated that, while religious [...]

The Rise of Militant Monks

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Michael Jerryson reports on the growing tension between Buddhists and Muslims in South and Southeast Asia, where senior Buddhist monks are actively inciting violence and intolerance despite outcries from the international community.   Recent developments in Burma have brought the world’s attention to the ongoing conflicts between Buddhists and Muslims in South and [...]

Japanese temples stop theft by replacing priceless statues with 3D-printed copies

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In an effort to stop thefts of valuable Buddhist statues, some groups in Japan are turning to 3D printing to create replicas of their statues. The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs recently revealed that from 2007 to 2009 there were 105 thefts of historical sculptures. Students at the Wakayama Technical High School used 3D scanners to create a virtual copy of an Aizen [...]

Sarasota planning commission approves plans for Buddhist monastery

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The Buddhist Association of Central Florida has received rezoning approval from the Sarasota County Planning Commission to construct a Theravada Buddhist monastery on eight acres of wooded land in Englewood. If the project is also approved by the county commissioners on October 13, the Sarasota Forest Monastery will be built to include a meditation hall, monk sleeping [...]

Actor Michelle Yeoh blends Buddhism & activism

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Buddhist actor and activist Michelle Yeoh was in Ladakh last week to offer aid relief in the wake of flash flooding. While on her trip, Yeoh met up with Conde Nast Traveller to talk about her activism and how it relates to her Buddhist practice. “I think you are always a practicing Buddhist,” she told interviewers. “You are learning every day.” Yeoh was born into a [...]

Burmese youth snap selfless selfies

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A grassroots campaign in Burma called #myfriend is harnessing the power of selfies to promote tolerance between religious and ethnic groups. Launched in April, the campaign encourages people to post selfies with friends from different religious or ethnic backgrounds on social media sharing the words, “I am [religion/ethnicity] and my friend is [religion/ethnicity].” The [...]

Shaolin abbot’s controversy and contributions come under Chinese media scrutiny

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Shi Yongxin. Photo via UK Shaolin Temple, on Facebook. Last week, The New York Times ran a feature profile on the prominent Chinese Buddhist monk Shi Yongxin, which critically examined his contributions to Shaolin tradition and the new controversy that has erupted around him in the Chinese media. Shi Yongxin, a high-ranking figure in Chinese Buddhism, is the vice chairman of [...]

Buddhist activist Ken Jones dies

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The Welsh Buddhist activist, poet, and teacher, Ken Jones (1930-2015) passed away on August 2nd. In his farewell message to Gaia House this year he spoke about his prostate cancer. Jones was an important voice in socially engaged Buddhism and was the founder and later president of the UK Network of Engaged Buddhists and a member of the International Advisory Committee of the [...]

Buddhists, activists place 70,000 paper cranes in tribute to atomic bombings

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Photos via Upaya Zen Center on Facebook. From August 5-9 Campaign Nonviolence and Upaya Zen Center are marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with programs and demonstrations in Santa Fe and Los Alamos, New Mexico. The 1945 bombings killed 130,000 people — mostly civilians. On August 6th, 250 people gathered at Los Alamos, where the [...]

Burma plight coverage gets boost from Jolie Pitt visit

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Angelina Jolie Pitt has recently completed a four-day tour of Burma – also known as Myanmar – to visit the country's refugees and bring awareness to the human rights situation there. The UN has declared the Rohingya community of Burma as the world's most persecuted and vulnerable ethnic minority and it accuses the world of being a “silent spectator of their heartrending state [...]