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The American Buddhist Congress (ABC) cordially invites individual Buddhists and Buddhist organizations to join hands with us in promoting the interests of Buddhism in the United States and to work with us in our endeavor to develop an "American" Buddhism which, while paying respect to Buddhist traditions of other cultures and acknowledging our debt of gratitude to them, seeks to synthesize American values and traditions with the basic Buddhism of the Tripitaka without the linguistic and cultural trappings which are not understood by most Americans.

We are convinced that a unified national body such as the ABC is more effective in dealing with matters of concern to Buddhists. Your participation will effectively contribute to the realization of our common goals and objectives.

Since Buddhism first came to the United States more than a century ago, it has grown and flourished primarily among immigrants from the various Asian Buddhist traditions. We are committed to endeavoring to also reach the traditional European and African American populations who have frequently been beyond the reach of the Asian Buddhist traditions because of language and cultural barriers.

We are convinced that Buddhism has an egalitarian, practical, scientifically defensible appeal that will touch the hearts and minds of Americans of all traditions if we can address them in English and in ways that are significant and meaningful to them. The principles of loving kindness, peace making, are well know to most Americans but we need to find better ways to inform them of the Buddha's teachings themselves in language and with applications culturally and linguistically compatible with their existing cultural ideals and practices.

The ABC was founded on 12 November 1987 to bring together Buddhists individuals and organizations of various Buddhist traditions and of diverse Buddhist denominations and ethnic backgrounds in America. We call on you to join us in the effort.



The goals and objectives of the ABC are to:

1. Promote the development of an American Buddhism by adapting and blending the American linguistic and cultural traditions and vales and the Tripitaka in ways loyal to the Buddha's basic teachings but also identifiable with Americans ideals and values.

2.. Bring together American. Buddhist organizations and individuals of all traditions to encourage cooperation for the common good;

3. Promote appreciation and understanding of each other's traditions and values among the various Buddhists groups and within the American society at large.

4. Cooperate with other organizations to promote peace and harmony;

5. Assist in implementing worthy projects of Buddhism organizations of varying traditions:

6. Develop a national communication network for Buddhist organizations;

7. Serve as a major representative of member Buddhist organizations and individuals in expressing their collective voice in matters of Buddhist interests at all levels.

8. To help encourage and develop a uniquely American Buddhist culture to include the new liturgies and music.

9. To work toward the founding of a Buddhist Seminary for the training of Dhamma Teachers and monks.



1. Co-sponsors an annual joint festival for the celebration of the Buddha's birth.

2. Annually presents the Bodhi Award to a person for outstanding service to Buddhism or the principles of lovingkindness and peace so integral to Buddhism.

3. Sponsors periodic seminars on Buddhist topics of interest.

4. Maintains a "Speaker's Bureau" of those willing to make address varying audiences on Buddhist targets and sends out knowledgeable monks and lay persons to discuss Buddhist topics of interest.

5. Publishes the Journal of the American Buddhist Congress.

6. Assists other Buddhist organizations and temple as requested and co-sponsors programs and activities for the welfare of Buddhism and the spread of the Dhamma.

7. Assists temples in grant proposal writing in order to help find funding for local, non-sectarian community service projects.


   Co-Founder of ABC - Ven. Havanpola Ratanasara
Executive President - Rev. Henry Shinn 
 Vice President - Ms. Ramya Gunesekera
Vice President - Mr. Glenn Hughes
Vice President & Editor of the, Journal of the ABC - Dr. David N. Tool
Treasurer - Ven. Havanpola Shanti
   Executive Council:
Rev. Henry Shinn
Ms. Ramya Gunesekera
Mr. Glenn Hughes
Dr. David N. Tool
 Rev. Kusala


Please see our new web-site under construction at... www.AmericanBuddhistCongress.org