Religious Persecution in Tibet

Conditions of the Tibetans inside Tibet and out are massively different. Particularly, in terms of religious affairs, the Tibetans all over the world are able to follow their religious faith and practices as where the Tibetans under the Chinese are strictly restricted in simply following their religion. Practicing their own religion frequently comes down to their survival. Yet, a lot of brave Tibetans chose to remain strong headed by simply doing what they believe in, what makes them feel at peace. Those who get arrested were beaten up and tortured brutully. Many of the arrested Tibetans were released after deterioration in their health. This act is a total disgrace to their whole system and a violation of human rights of the Tibetans. The nuns and the monks are the targeted people of the Chinese. Especially, the monasteries in Tibet face stricter control under China’s “ Measures for the Financial Management of Religious Activity. The measures were mutually developed by China’s Administration for Religious Affairs and Ministry of Finance and it came into effect on 1st June, 2022. This latest formation of the law comes after the 2010 Measures on the Supervision and Management of Financial Affairs for Religious Activities and 2017. Over the years, China passed various regulations to bring the monasteries and nunneries under strict control. The measures applied to all the religious institutions in China, however they were more strict and hard on the Tibetan monasteries. Such was the case because monasteries and nunneries are the cultural heart of the Tibetans. These measures aim to dilute Tibetan Buddhism and further the Communist Party of China’s sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism and its institutions. Under these formulated laws, the monasteries lose their traditional aspect of running their institutions which function by looking at the needs of the community and their academic importance, provisions in the new regulations are modeled toward putting the religious centers under constant surveillance and control of the State and its institutions. Chinese persecution of Tibetan Buddhism is a sensitive issue. And the outside world hasn’t been blind to it. Recently, the US State Secretary Antony Blinken spoke at the release of the 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom at the State Department. He mentioned that China prosecute religious followers and called it as contradicting the CCP’s doctrine for destructing religious places and discriminating Tibetan Buddhists. Rashad Hussain, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom who also spoke at the State department expressed that many governments use unfair laws to prosecute religious practitioners. He stressed that China is still cracking down on Tibetan Buddhists. Authorities arrested, tortured and use other abuses against Tibetans who promotes their language and culture, keeps pictures and writings of the Dalai Lama or practiced their religion at Buddhist monasteries. The Report released is divided into four parts. They are categorized as Religious Demography, Status of Government Respect for Religious Freedom, Status of Societal Respect for Religious Freedom and US government Policy and Engagement. The report talks about how China controls the religious institutions in Tibet. Specifically on how they handle the registration of monasteries and nunneries, the concerned institutions have to have the consent of the Chinese government and if they deny any application of registration, there is no other way. It further talks about how the size of the monastery needs China’s approval and no objections. They have started a campaign from 2016 to evict monks and nuns from religious institutions if they fail to follow up their new laws. The report also presented the abduction of the 11th Panchen Lama as the most notorious violation of religious freedom. The report shares how the 11th Panchen Lama who was recognised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans was kidnapped by the CCP in 1995, his whereabouts is still unknown. Today, the Chinese Communist Party, under the leadership of Xi Jing Ping professes a deep commitment to identifying and caring for the reincarnation of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. But how can we possibly believe that the CCP intends to take care of the future of Tibetan Buddhism? There is no doubt as to what the Chinese regime’s actual goal is. It is have total control of the Tibetan people, who revere His Holiness. Take the subject of reincarnation— believing in rebirth after death. It’s a sacred tradition among Tibetan Buddhists with an over nine-hundred-year history. In 2007, the CCP issued a requirement that living Buddhas, who are reincarnated lamas, must be approved by the CCP under Order No. 5. It’s an outrageous and disgraceful order, as the Dalai Lama pointed out time at the time while giving assurances that clear guidelines will be issued about his reincarnation, “to leave no room for doubt and deception.” Fortunately, in 2020, the United States countered this grave injustice with the historic Tibet Support and Policy Act. The Act commits, among other things, “to support the fundamental rights of Tibetan Buddhists to select, elect and educate their own spiritual leaders.” But even with this positive legislation, persecution of Tibetan Buddhists, along with people of faith from every corner of the CCP’s reach, continues . The CCP manages every aspect of spiritual and educational activities. Young disciples are prevented from becoming monks or nuns, thereby decimating the ranks of those who wish to preserve Buddhism. Prayer flags have been outlawed. Religious rituals and festivals, banned. And the two most historic, monasteries have been demolished.

Desk Team

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