There’s no doubting that Rome with the Vatican is the centre of the Catholic world, pretty much therefore the Christian world. But that doesn’t mean that there is no room for other religions. Rome is the site of Europe’s largest mosque, and is also home to the oldest Jewish population in Europe. In the last fifteen or so years Italy has seen an increase in immigration, just as many other countries in Europe. A significant immigrant community are from China, Taiwan and South-East Asia. So other places of worship are springing up in Rome. In fact Buddhism has also gained many Italian followers, and in fact is the third religion in Italy after Christianity and Islam. So it is appropriate that Rome can now boast the largest Buddhist Temple in Europe too.The Hua Yi Si Temple is rather incongruously situated in an industrial zone just off the Via Prenestina and surrounded by warehouses and distribution centres supplying the Chinese restaurants and stores in Rome. Most of the signs outside these great sheds are in Chinese. The temple, whose mother Temple is the Chunk Tai Chan Monastery in Taiwan, is run by four very devote, discrete and simpatiche Buddhist nuns. Built in a very traditional oriental style as a one storey pagoda, behind the solid metal gates all is tranquillity. Two marble lions stand guard at the entrance from which a smiling Buddha beams benevolently at the visitor.
The founder of the order is The Grand Master Wei Chueh, whose large photograph is hung on one of the walls. Those attending the temple will be taught the four cardinal precepts:- “Treat the aged with respect; the young with gentleness; others with harmony and conduct your affairs with honesty.”
The temple opens its doors to the faithful and the curious on Sundays at 11am.
Via dell’Omo, 142
Link:- Paesasera Tempio Buddhisto a Roma
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