(TibetanReview.net, Jul27’22) – Yunfu, a prefecture-level city in Guangdong province of China, has called for a boycott of visiting Tibetan Buddhist monks, saying what it has called their “missionary activity” is illegal, reported the bitterwinter.org Jul 27.
Teachings by visiting Tibetan Buddhist monks had gained popularity in the city at a time when temples under the government-controlled China Buddhist Association (CBA) acted as little more than propaganda centres for the Communist Party of China (CPC), the report said.
Tibetan monks both from historical Tibet and from overseas are in high demand. This is, however, creating an independent Buddhism outside the control of the CPC, something the party and the CBA cannot tolerate, the report said.
It was in this backdrop that the Yunfu city office of the CBA has issued a “Notice on the Boycott of Illegal Missionary Activities of Tibetan Buddhist Monks.”
The Notice was stated to read, in part: “In recent years, the illegal mission of Tibetan Buddhist monks to the mainland has become more and more serious, which has seriously impacted the spread of Mahayana Buddhism, the righteousness of Buddhism and Chan Buddhism, and seriously affected the interests of believers, property safety, family safety and social harmony.”
Capitalizing on a few incidents that had actually happened, the Notice was stated to claim, “Some unscrupulous people pretend to be living Buddhas to give initiations to impart the Dharma and release believers, and fraudulently obtain money and sex.”
The Notice was stated to accuse Tibetan Buddhist monks of “engaging in various behaviors that violate national laws and regulations, and even supporting separatist activities, which has become a major hidden danger to social stability and harmony.”
China considers any form of support or respect for the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, as support for “separatist activities”.
The Notice insists that “it is illegal for Tibetan Buddhist monks to leave their Tibetan areas to teach Buddhism and accept followers and support without state approval.”
Bemoaning that Tibetan monks still “come to our city to teach the Dharma illegally,” the Yunfu City CBA has ordered “all Buddhist associations, monasteries and other places of religious activity in the city to resolutely boycott Tibetan Buddhism.”
“Those who violate the precepts of Chinese Buddhism by studying or participating in Tibetan Buddhist activities will be dealt with according to the national religious policy,” the document was stated to threaten.
And it was stated to encourage Guangdong Buddhists loyal to the CPC-controlled CBA to “immediately report to the local religious departments and public security organs” the presence of Tibetan monks.
This should happen “immediately” when “overseas Tibetan Buddhist monks” enter Guangdong, under various pretexts but in fact with the aim of teaching, the document was quoted as saying.