I admit that I am not a religious person. A lot has to do with my upbringing, but that’s not the point here. But nevetheess, I do have high respect for others’ religious beliefs.
Thailand is a Buddhist country, >90% of Thais are Buddhist. I guess, that’s why Thailand is being called as a “Buddha Land.”
5000s.org is a Bangkok-based group, and they have been preaching to respect Buddha for many years. Their mission is to provide better understanding about what should and should not do to the Buddha. They say that they often find that Buddha is not treated with respect, and many people overlook the feelings of billions of Buddhists around the world.
There were also protests held by Knowing Buddha organization in Bangkok few years ago, and CNN covered it here.
I am not clear on the connection between 5000s.org and Knowing Buddha, but essentially they preach the same thing: RESPECT Buddha images.
They appeal for mankind to treat Buddha’s images appropriately:
- NOT Merchandise: Do not buy or sell Buddha.
- NOT Decoration: Do not use Buddha as a decoration item.
- NOT Tattoo: Do not tattoo an image of Buddha onto the body.
You wouldn’t see images of Jesus and other Christian icons being treated the same, so why would images of Buddha are being treated differently?
If you want respect, give respect!