Chair of Fund for Peace Visits Cambodia
Rev. Yuji Numata, chair of the Executive Committee of Rissho Kosei-kai's Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace and the director of Rissho Kosei-kai's Dharma Missions Bureau, visited Cambodia January 10-12. This year the National Buddhist Institute of Cambodia marks the 10th anniversary of its reopening. Its rebuilding after destruction by the Khmer Rouge was supported financially by the Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace. Rev. Numata's went to assess the current state of the institute and consider continued support for it. On January 11 he visited the Ministry of Cults and Religions in Phnom Penh and conferred with the minister, Mr. Min Khin.
At the beginning of the January 11 meeting, Mr. Min explained the institute's roles and expressed thanks for Rissho Kosei-kai's support. He reported on the development of Buddhist education in Cambodia. He pledged support for the institute's central role in the spread of the spirit of Buddhism in Cambodia, aided by the translation and publication of books on Buddhism. He said he hoped further collaboration with Rissho Kosei-kai would make Buddhism an ethical foundation for Cambodians.
Rev. Numata explained Rissho Kosei-kai's joint project with the Shanti Volunteer Association (SVA) for the revival of Cambodian Buddhism and culture. He promised Rissho Kosei-kai's support for the further promotion of Buddhism in Cambodia and said he hoped the Ministry of Cults and Religions would continue to promote the activities of the institute.
On January 12 Rev. Numata visited a Buddhist temple in Svay Rieng Province and confirmed the progress of a joint project with SVA.
The National Buddhist Institute of Cambodia, founded in 1921, was destroyed during the years of the Pol Pot regime (1975-79), and most of the scriptures and other books it housed were burned or lost. In 1995 the Ministry of Cults and Religions via SVA asked Rissho Kosei-kai to help finance rebuilding of the institute. To contribute to Cambodia's rehabilitation through the recovery of Buddhism, Rissho Kosei-kai agreed to SVA's request. Since the institute reopened in 2002, it has conducted research projects on Buddhism and published books on Buddhism in the Khmer language.
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