Ministory of Religious Affairs


Ministry of Religious Affairs

The Ministry of Religious Affairs
was established and started functioning
before the Union of Myanmar regained its Independence.

After Independence the Ministry of Religious Affairs created the following
divisions and carried out the tasks.

(a) Directorate of Religious Affairs

(b) Pali University and Dhammacariya Division

(c) Pali Education Division

(d) International Institute of Advanced Buddhistic Studies

(e) Tipitakadhara Selection Committee.

The Revolutionary
Council Government reorganized all ministries on 2nd March 1962 and thus, the
following Ministries reappeared as Ministry of Home and Religious Affairs.

(a) Ministry of Home Affairs

(b) Ministry of Religious Affairs

(c) Ministry of Democratization and Local Government

(d) Ministry of Immigration and National Registration

After that, the
Ministry of Religious Affairs continued to exist as a department under the Ministry
of Home and Religious Affairs from 2nd March 1962 to 20th March 1992.

After assuming
the duties of the State on 18 September 1988, the State Law and Order Restoration
Council, with the aim of flourishing the Theravada Buddha Sasana at home and
abroad, purification, perpetuation and propagation of the Buddha Sasana and
bringing out Myanmar traditional custom and culture, formed the Department for
the Promotion and Propagation of the Sasana under the Ministry of Home and Religious
Affairs on 9 – 5 – 91.

But the Ministry
of Home and Religious Affairs had been shouldering not only the duties of administration
, management, law and order preservation, but also the Sasana affairs simultaneously.
And so in order to implement the Sasana affairs with might and main, the State
Law and Order Restoration Council reformed the Ministry as the Ministry of Home
Affairs and the Ministry of Religious Affairs separately by issuing the Notification
No. (23/92) dated 20-3-92.

By the decision
of the meeting No. (22/98) of the Cabinet of the Union of Myanmar, held on 26-6-98,
formation of the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University under
this Ministry was confirmed with an approval of the state Peace and Development
Council with the aim of making the world to be peaceful and prosperous and full
of four cardinal virtues by learning and practising original Pitaka treatises
which had been approved by the Six Buddhist Councils of the genuine Theravada
Buddha Sasana, and emergence of those Buddhist missionaries of morality who
are well-experienced and skilled in Pitaka literature.

« The Ministry of Religious Affairs


The objectives
of formation of the Ministry of Religious Affairs are as follows:-

(a) To allow freedom
of faith;

(b) For the purfication, perpetuation, promotion and propagation of the Theravada
Buddhist Sasana;

(c) To help out and participate in international religious affairs; and

(d) Emergence and prevalence of Myanmar traditional customs and culture.

« The Ministry of Religious Affairs


The Ministry of
Religious Affairs follows and implements its tasks in accord with the following

(a) To allow freedom
of faith and belief for all nationalties (male and female) of the Union of Myanmar

(b) To let the people of different faiths live in friendly relations among themselves.

(c) To have the Samghas living in unity

(d) To abide by existing laws

(e) To implement the directives and orders of the State Peace and Development
Council Government , regarding them as policy

(f) Coordination of Government Ministries

(g) To lay down policies to be followed by the Departments under this Ministry
in implementing their tasks

« The Ministry of Religious Affairs


After emergence
of the Ministry of Religious Affairs , it has been carrying out the following

(a) Activities
of Internal Missions

Member Sayadaws of the State Samgha Maha Nayaka Committee and Theravada Buddhist
Missionary Ovadacariya Saya-daws often visit States and Divisions and discussions
are made with member saya-daws of State/ Division Samgha Nayaka Comittees about
the Samgha affairs, missionary work in hilly regions and border areas, opening
of missionary training courses of the Sasana. These courses of the Teaching
are opened also/

(b) Activities
of External Missions

Endeavours are being made by Sayadaws headed by member Sayadaws of the State
Samgha Maha Nayaka Comittee by discussing and coordinating with foreign countries
to flourish Buddhist Sasana there; attending religious and Sasana occasions
abroad, and ordaining lay persons from abroad and bhikkhus.

(c) Activities
of Monastic Education Schools

According to the decision of the State Samgha Maha Nayaka Committee, 970 monastic
education schools have been opened in 216 townships of States and Divisions
with the attendance of 95710 school children. Arrangements are being made for
extension of Monastic Education Schools in States the Divisions.

(d) Activities
for different faiths

Different followers of faiths in the Union of Myanmar are: Buddhists (89.20)per
cent, Christians (5.06) per cent, Hindus (0.51) per cent, Islamists (3.78) per
cent, animists (1.21) per cent and other faiths such as Bahai Sikhs, Lipian
fujianhal, Chinese, etc. (0.61) per cent. Encouragement and assistance are being
given on Holy days of different faiths. Native Islamists are sent to Mecca for
the Haj. Representatives are also sent to attend religious assemblies at home
and abroad.

(e) Tasks carried
out with the help of Advisers Committee

Basic Primary level curriculum, basic secondary level curriculum and higher
level curriculum were drawn up in Myanmar language without any Pali words so
the Buddha’s teaching could be comprehended by children and adults easily. Efforts
are being made also for spreading Buddhist literatue among the people by the
Advisers Comittee comprising six scholars who are skilful in Buddhist literature.

« The Department of Religious Affairs

Religious Titles

Religious Titles

After Independence
of the Union of Myanmar,
the religious titles of AggaMaha Pandita, Ahhidhaja
Maha Rattha Guru and Tipitakadhara only were conferred on the eminent Sayadaws.

The State Peace and Development Council Government issued its Notification
No. (42/91) dated 24-10-91 so newly created religious titles emerged, and
thus the following religious titles are being conferred on the recipients.

(a) Titles conferred
since long, long ago:

(1) Abhidhaja Maha Rattha Guru

(2) Agga Maha Pandita
(3) Tipitakadhara

(b) Newly created religious titles:

(1) Tipitakadhara Dhammabhandagarika

(2) Agga Maha Ganthavacaka
Pandita Sayadaw
     Agga Maha Ganthavacaka Pandita Nun

(3) Maha Ganthavacaka Pandita Sayadaw
     Maha Ganthavacaka Nun

(4) Cula Ganthavacakavacaka Pandita Saya-daw Cula Ganthavacaka Pandita Nun

(5) Maha Dahamma Kathika Bahujana-hitadhara Sayadaw

(6) Dhamma Kathika Bahujanahitadhara Sayadaw

(7) Agga Maha Kammathanacariya Saya-daw

(8) Maha Kammathanacariya Sayadaw

(9) Cula Kammathanacariya Sayadaw

(10) Abhidhaja Agga Maha Saddhammajotika Sayadaw

(11) Agga Maha Saddammajotika Sayadaw

(12) Maha Saddhammajotika Sayadaw
       Maha Saddhammajotika Nun
       Maha Saddhammajotika Lay person

(13) Saddhammajotikadhaja Sayadaw
       Saddhammajotikadhaja Nun
       Saddhammajotikadhaja Lay person

(14) Agga Maha Siri Sudhamma Manijota-dhara

(15) Siri Sudhamma Manijotadhara

(16) Siha Sudhamma Manijotadhara

(17) Sudhamma Manijotadhara

(18) Agga Maha Siri Sudhamma Singi

(19) Siha Sudhamma Singi

(20) Siha Sudhamma Singi

(21) Sudhamma Singi

« The Department of Religious Affairs