Wat Dhammapateep can be translated as the "Temple of the Light of Teaching" (the Teaching of Buddha). It is a temple in the tradition of the Thai Theravada (translated as the "Teaching of the Elders") which is the Buddhist movement as followed not only in Thailand but throughout Southeast Asia.
Due to the initiative of a number of Thai Flemish, who needed a Buddhist center, Wat Chakkawatrajawas, a royal temple from Bangkok in Thailand, bought a building at Kouterdreef 37 in Mechelen. Wat Dhammapateep got its name from the Thai Buddhist Sub-Patriarch Phra Phuttiwongmunee, Abbot of Wat Chakkawatrajawas, who inaugurated the Temple on July 1, 2005.
Since that foundation, Wat Dhammapateep has been entrusted by the mother temple Wat Chakkawatrajawas to the Abbot Phra Khruvinaithorn Somsak Subhalert. He now resides and works permanently in Mechelen to devote himself to the spiritual guidance and organization of the activities of the Temple. Other monks from Thailand or other countries also regularly stay there.
The Temple had many legal and regulatory problems to solve and a temple association was established in the form of a 'non-profit association', published in the Belgian Official Gazette of October 22, 2007.
The first major reorganization of the Board of Directors followed on 13/11/2012. (See below for information on those in charge of Wat Dhammapateep: the Abbot for Buddhist Affairs, and the Chairman for the General Organization).
In 2014, the membership of the Temple Society has reached nearly 2,000. These 'supporting members' are further organized in a Volunteer Organization (in accordance with the Law of 3 July 2005) which was recognized on April 7, 2007 by the Province of Antwerp (recognition number ANT20080241). Without the selfless work of these unsurpassed volunteers and the donations of its many hundreds of members and supporters, the existence and development of the Temple would be impossible.
Wat Dhammapateep wants to play a responsible role in the development of Buddhism in Belgium and Europe. It is a committed member of the UTSE (Union of Thai Sanghas in Europe) as evidenced by its organization and sponsorship of the Buddhist Congress from August 22-24, 2014. It was announced as the largest and most important Buddhist gathering ever in Belgium, with participation of the higher Buddhist leaders and organizations from Thailand, the US and other countries and with the abbots of temples from almost all European countries.
The near future is mainly focused on the realization of the Project of the New Temple. On July 1, 2011, a fund was established for this purpose under the high protection and supervision of the Thai Higher Sangha Authorities. Due to the growth of the Temple, an extension is necessary for further development.
In 2015, the non-profit organization Wat Dhammapeteep bought the “New Temple”, located at 7b Willendriesstraat, 2812 Muizen, thanks to the support of many donors. In February 2017 Abbot Khruvinaithorn Somsak Subhalert moved to the new location.
Events and activities, were still organized at the old location in Mechelen.
The first festival was the relocation of the big Buddha statue on May 28, 2018, this was also the official opening and inauguration of the temple for events and activities.