Museum of World Religions
After a decade of preparation, nearly 200 religious leaders from some 38 different countries attended the opening ceremony of the MWR and signed the World Religious Harmony Day declaration on November 9, 2001.
As the first major enterprise established by Chan Master Hsin Tao, the Museum of World Religions is based on the spirit of the Huayan school of Chinese Buddhism — “mutual respect, sincere toleration, and universal love.” Built with the kind donations offered by the Buddhist community over many years, the museum is the crystallization of wisdom. It is the world's first museum solely dedicated to promoting knowledge and understanding of the world's major religions.
The museum was the idea of Chan Master Hsin Tao, and designed by renowned architect Ralph Appelbaum, with professor Lawrence Sullivan of the World Religion Research Center at Harvard Divinity School leading the exhibition planning. Since its opening, the Museum has continued to host interfaith dialogues and exchanges in order to increase mutual understanding and friendly interaction amongst various religions. Its collections, exhibitions, programs, research, and publications have developed into an invaluable resource for educational institutes at all levels.
Since the museum’s opening in 2001, Chan Master Hsin Tao has met with numerous religious leaders and connected with scholars and institutes which shares the same ideals. In 2001, Pope John Paul II send a hand painted blessing scroll. At MWR’s ten-year anniversary, Pope Benedictus XVI also did the same.
For the past 15 years, MWR has held over 60 exhibitions, mainly on religions and different cultures and traditions. Besides, MWR also continuously work with different educational institute to promote “life education”, and was awarded outstanding foundation prize by the government 11 years in a roll. Nowadays, MWR continues on the path of promoting cross religion diversified cultures.
Happy learning program for Taiwan residence started in 2012, in the hope to assist the remote and resource-deprived areas, school, and groups in Taiwan. Through a visit to MWR and experiential guiding tours, students would have a chance to get in touch with diversified arts and life education.