US annual report chides China for discriminating against Tibetans as a religious group

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File photo: Tibetans prostrating in front of Jokhang Temple.

(TibetanReview.net, May14’21) – Tibetan Buddhists in the People’s Republic of China face severe societal discrimination in the form of employment, housing, and business opportunities. Also, the language culture of Tibetans and Uyghurs are suppressed while Han people and culture are promoted in various ways, said the US Office of International Religious Freedom in its latest annual report released on May 13.

Releasing the State Department’s annual “International Religious Freedom Report”, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “China broadly criminalizes religious expression and continues to commit crimes against humanity and genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups.”

Among the numerous religious freedom issues covered by it, the 2020 report referred to the closure of several Tibetan Buddhist centers in Sichuan Province, with the authorities claiming “Illegal activities” were carried out in the centers.

“government’s actual purpose was to limit the influence of Khenpo Sodargye, a Buddhist monk who founded these centers. The centers were associated with the Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Institute, from which authorities had expelled more than 15,000 Buddhist monks and nuns since 2016 and destroyed significant portions of the property,” the report said.

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