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CHINA: Cultural Revolution-like crackdown in Drakgo Buddhist Monastery

Cultural Revolution-like crackdown

China demolished a sky-high Buddha statue and 45 huge prayer wheels in Drakgo, Tibet

Tibet.net (28/12/2021) – https://bit.ly/32OuH5k – Dharamshala: The Chinese government has demolished a 99-foot-tall Buddha statue in Kham Drakgo, incorporated into Sichuan Province, according to our sources. Additionally, 45 huge prayer wheels erected near Drakgo Monastery have also been removed and prayer flags burned down.

 

The bronze statue was built with great effort and with the generous contributions from the local Tibetans in Drakgo, at a crossroad, costing around 40,000,000 Yuan (around 6.3 million USD). In 1973, Drakgo suffered a massive earthquake that caused serious and widespread damage including the death of several thousand residents. The 99-foot-tall Buddha statue was built on 5 October 2015 to ward off natural disasters in the future.

 

According to our sources, the bronze statue was built after all permissions were sought from the district office and had even received praise from the local authorities at the time. However, in the last two-three years, higher officials who visited the area had criticised the large size of the statue. As recently as 12 December 2021, the county authorities ordered its demolition after invalidating the documents and claiming that the statue of such height is prohibited. Such a reason fails to justify the basis of destroying the 45 prayer wheels that costed around 1,800,000 Yuan (around 282,500 USD) to build, and the burning down of the prayer flags in the vicinity.

 

Tearing down Buddhist statues and structures is a direct attack on the centuries-long traditions of Tibetans including putting up prayer flags to lift one’s luck, erecting religious structures to ward off misfortunes and spinning prayer wheels to accumulate mantras for the well-being of others. “These acts by the Chinese authorities are acute attacks on Tibetan religion, language and culture. The crackdown on Tibetan Buddhism and the situation now in Drakgo is like the Cultural Revolution times,” said our sources. Due to the tight controls over information flows in the region, we are unable to obtain pictures and videos of the actual destruction at the moment.

 

Last month, Drakgo Monastery’s Gaden Namgyal Monastic school was demolished on the false ground of not having proper documents and violating the land use law. The school was targeted because it served as an important hub of education in the area since its establishment, offering a range of classes including Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan language, Chinese Mandarin, and English. After closure of the school, its 130 students were forced to return to their villages, without access or enrolment in other schools. The Chinese government completely violated the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people, including religious rights, language rights and rights to preserve and practice one’s own culture and tradition.

 

Photo: Religious ceremony held at 99-foot-tall Buddha statue in Kham Drakgo before its demolition. Tibet.net

Further reading about FORB in China on HRWF website





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CHINA: Special Bimonthly newsletter on freedom of religion or belief (01.03 -15.03.2021)

General

 

05.03.21 – New Report Highlights Severe Lack of Religious Freedom in China

 

In its recent Freedom in the World report, Freedom House—a D.C.-based human rights watchdog group—ranked 195 countries and 15 territories on their political rights and civil liberties. The report considered many specific questions within the categories of political and civil freedom, including the extent to which each country allows its citizens to freely practice and express their religion.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

12.03.21 – -U.S. condemns China at UN rights forum for abuse of Uighurs, Tibetans

 

The United States on Friday condemned China’s abuse of ethnic and religious minorities, including what it called “crimes against humanity and genocide” in Xinjiang against Muslim Uighurs and severe restrictions in Tibet.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

Uyghur Muslims

 

 

05.03.21 – Five Uyghurs from one family imprisoned for Egypt study, another believed to have died in camp

 

Five relatives of a Uyghur trader who died after being freed from an internment camp in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) are in prison, according to officials, while one other is believed to have died in a camp after being ordered home from Egypt.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

09.03.21 – Uyghur Human Rights Project welcomes bill to provide Uyghurs safe haven

 

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) welcomes the introduction of the Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act (H.R. 1630) in the U.S. House of Representatives to address the Uyghur refugee crisis.

“This legislation would empower the U.S. government to rescue vulnerable Uyghurs who have escaped China’s genocide,” said UHRP Executive Director, Omer Kanat.

 

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13.03.21 – “I was a teacher in a concentration camp”: Women and the Uyghur genocide

 

The CCP has shamelessly attacked the character of Uyghur women who have courageously testified to the rape and torture they endured or witnessed with their own eyes. Here is one.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

 

The Church of Almighty God

 

02.03.21 – Heavier sentences for Church of Almighty God members

 

As part of the campaign aimed at eradicating the movement, jail terms have been substantially increased.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

15.03.21 – Christian mistreated, tormented for refusing to give up belief

 

In July 2020, Li Huizhen (pseudonym), a Christian of The Church of Almighty God (CAG), finally got out of prison after she completed her three-year sentence term for her belief due to the CCP cruel persecution.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

Falun Gong

 

 

13.03.21 – 54-year-old man denied medical parole, dies two months after being imprisoned

 

A 54-year-old man died two months after he was imprisoned for his faith in Falun Gong.

Mr. Yue Caiyun, a native of Yucheng County, Henan Province, was arrested in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, where he had been living the past few years, on August 21, 2020. The Hangzhou police accused him of mailing informational materials about Falun Gong and held him at the Red Cross Detention Center in Xiaoshan District.

 

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15.03.21 – Guandong women sentenced to two years for reading Falun Gong teachings

 

A woman in Jieyang City, Guangdong Province was recently sentenced to two years for her faith in Falun Gong. Ms. Lin Liqing was arrested on June 14, 2020 while reading Falun Gong teachings at Ms. Lin Wanzhen’s home. Ms. Lin Wanzhen’s two other practitioner-guests, Ms. Wu Rongduan and a female practitioner whose name is unknown, were also arrested.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

15.03.21 – Report: 3,020 Elderly Falun Gong practitioners targeted for their faith in China between 2018 and 2020

 

In recent years, the persecution of elderly practitioners has become especially rampant. Even those in their 80s or 90s weren’t spared.

This report focuses on the persecution of elderly Falun Gong practitioners and how they have been physically and mentally abused despite their age. Some were even persecuted to death as a result of torture and pressure from the authorities.

 

Continue reading…

 

 

Catholics

 

14.03.21 – Cardinal Bo calls for week of prayer for China Church

 

Cardinal Charles Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), has called on the faithful to join a week of prayer for the Chinese Church from May 23-30.

 

Continue reading…

 


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