Department of Religion & Culture

The Department of Religion and Culture was established under the executive organ of the Central Tibetan Administration whose function is to overlook religious and cultural affairs in the Tibetan exile community. It has the responsibility of supervising works aimed at reviving, preserving, and promotion of Tibetan religious and cultural heritages that is being led to the verge of extinction in Tibet.

It began its operation in exile community as Council for Religious Affairs office on April 27, 1959, established by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and his government in Mussoorie. On 30th May 1960, the Council for Religious Affairs shifted its office to Dharamsala and on September 12, 1960, it became one of the five main departments when His Holiness the Dalai Lama formally established the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA).

It is now one of the seven major departments of CTA and a minister heads this office. There have been 14 ministers who have held the portfolio for varying tenure. The incumbent and the seventeenth one is Kalon Ven Karma Gelek Yuthok who took office on 1 June 2016 after the Tibetan parliament in exile approved his appointment.