Daoist Association of the Republic of China
In the first year of the Republic of China (1912), eighteen representatives of The Complete Perfection Tradition, including Chen Minglin (YU Kun), the abbot of the White Cloud Temple, initiated the establishment of the Daoist Association in Beijing. They drafted the Declaration of the Daoist Association, Outline of the Daoist Association and the Daoist Association's Claim for Recognition by the Government of the Republic of China. On July 15th, they drafted the Daoist Association's Memorial to Prime Minister and President Yuan Shikai. Nine of the representatives, including Chen Minlin, went to the State Department and President's Residence to submit a written statement for admission. They received an official reply on August 4th, which agreed to put their memorial on record. Daoism began to have a legal nationwide organization.
Rectify depravity, continue the Daoist tradition, and combine an otherworldly outlook with a worldly one, so as to cultivate an excellent, noble-minded and perfect republic.
There are worldly affairs and otherworldly affairs. For otherworldly affairs, there is an Office for Religious Proclamation ( 演教門 Yanjiao Men ) and an Office for the Conferring of Commandments ( 宣律門 Xuanlv Men ). For worldly affairs, there is an Office for Almsgiving ( 救濟門 Jiuji Men ), an Office for Didactic Activity ( 勸善門 Quanshan Men ) and an Office for the Transformation of Evil Deeds ( 化惡門 Hua’e Men ).
There is a General Daoist Association in Beijing, as well as general branch Daoist Associations on the provincial level and branch Daoist Associations on the city and village level.
In the General Daoist Association, there is one chairman and two vice-chairmen. It has three departments:
- The Assembly Department. Its divisions are the Office for Discussing Official Business, the Examination Office and the Propaganda Office;
- The Administration Department: it directs the Religious Proclamation Office, the Daoism Propagation Office and the Religious Affairs Office;
- The Inspection Department: it dominates the Office for Rectifying Deviation, the Senate Office and the Dismission Office.
Administration of the General Branch Daoist Associations and the branch Daoist Associations is similar to those in the General Daoist Association, but simplified to some degree.
Daoist priests, all the devotees (there is no limit for ethnicity, nationality, and occupation), and volunteers who are committed to help Daoism and save the masses can be admitted to the Daoist Association.
Regulations for Members
- All members will be vigilant in abiding by the Daoist precepts and guard against violation. Confession should be made should one transgress against any regulation. Upon confession, one should remain committed to the avoidance of any future transgression. Those who violate the regulations and refuse to confess and rectify themselves will be expelled from the Association.
- All members should permanently be merciful and demonstrate behavior that is beneficial to all humanity.
- Members should study Daoist doctrine to save themselves and others.
- Members should observe the regulations and carry on a Daoist livelihood.
The General Daoist Association conference will be held annually. It begins on March 3rd and lasts seven days. Business discussion takes three days and religious research four days. General branch Daoist Associations meet twice each year. These meetings begin on Feb.1st and August 1st respectively, and last five days, two days for business discussion and three days for religious discussion.