Bitter Winter-Tsering Dolma
Statues were destroyed, monks and nuns evicted from their monasteries, new regulations introduced to further limit religious freedom.
Recently, as Bitter Winter reported, the Chinese authorities in Kham (a part of historical Tibet, now in Sichuan province) destroyed a 99-foot-tall Buddha statue and forty-five prayer wheels around it.
According to the sources cited by Dharamshala-based Tibet Watch, the demolition began on December 12, 2021. In China too, in the past few years, the Chinese authorities destroyed several Buddhist statues in Zhejiang, including a 92-foot statue of the Boddhisattva Guanyin in Taizhou. In 2019, a 32-meter-tall bronze four-faced Guanyin statue in Pumen Temple, located in Changchun city in the northeastern province of Jilin, was demolished because it was “too tall.”
According to the sources cited by Bitter Winter, “‘They [the CCP bureaucrats] are afraid that everyone will believe in Buddhism, and no one will believe in the Party. This spring, authorities ordered to demolish the temple’s nine wind chime pagodas because they embodied Tibetan style.’ According to the believer, the government prohibits anything with Tibetan characteristics.”
In August 2021, a few video clips were widely circulated on social media and mainstream media related to Kharmar Monastery, where Tibetan Buddhism is being practiced and preached. This monastery is located in the Chinese city of Linxia, Gansu province. The video clips clearly show monks and nuns being forcibly evicted from the monastery by several officers in civilian clothes. This unfortunate incident has been extensively covered by several news media such as Radio Free Asia (Tibetan) and New Tang Dynasty Television.
Media have given similar reports of the harsh treatment toward the monks and nuns of Kharmar monastery, and have broadcasted similar kinds of footage. The prime cause for its crackdown was the monetary donation of 300,000 Yuan given by the monastery during the pandemic, and later its refusal to share their income with the government-supported China Buddhist Association and the local government. Click here to read more.