38th Niwano Peace Prize Awarded to Taiwan’s Venerable Shih Chao-hwei

The Niwano Peace Foundation will award the 38th Niwano Peace Prize to the Venerable Shih Chao-hwei of Taiwan in recognition of her peace-building work through the safeguarding of all forms of life, promotion of gender equality, and open-minded dialogue with different religious leaders and social groups.

An award presentation ceremony will take place in Tokyo on June 2. In addition to an award certificate, Ven. Shih will receive a medal and a cash prize of 20 million yen.

Born in 1957 in Yangon, Myanmar, Ven. Shih moved to Taiwan in 1965 and was ordained in 1980. She teaches religious studies at Hsuan Chuang University as a professor. She is the founder of the Life Conservationist Association, which lobbies for animal rights. She was awarded the International Outstanding Women in Buddhism Medal in 2009, and the Person of the Year Prize for social movements in 2012.

In selecting Ven. Shih as a recipient for 2021, the Niwano Peace Prize Committee said her view of Buddhist faith “as more of a profound philosophy than simply a religion…is the foundation of her activism.” Calling her an internationally renowned “engaged Buddhist,” one Committee member noted she is “a gender rights activist and animal rights advocate” who also is “vocal about various social and political issues” in Taiwan.

Niwano Peace Prize:
The Niwano Peace Foundation established the Niwano Peace Prize to honor and encourage individuals and organizations that have contributed significantly to inter-religious cooperation, thereby furthering the cause of world peace, and to make their achievements known as widely as possible. The Foundation hopes in this way to enhance inter-religious understanding and cooperation and to encourage the emergence of still more persons devoted to working for world peace. The prize is named in honor of the founder and first president of the lay Buddhist organization Rissho Kosei-kai, Nikkyo Niwano.

Niwano Peace Foundation:
The Niwano Peace Foundation was chartered in 1978 to contribute to the realization of world peace and the enhancement of a culture of peace. The foundation promotes research and other activities based on the spirit of religious principles and serves the cause of peace in such fields as education, science, religion and philosophy.

Source: Niwano Peace Foundation

(Mr.) Seiji Hironaka/ (Ms.) Natsuki Kudo
Niwano Peace Foundation
Tel: +81-3-3226-4371
Fax: +81-3-3226-1835

AsiaNet 88242

Source: Kyodo JBN-AsiaNet/InfoQuest