US Report Says Religious Repression High in Tibet

 

The United States Department of States released its International Religious Freedom Report 2010 on November 17, 2010.

In its reference to Tibet, the report says religious repression remained high.  It says,

“During the reporting period, the level of religious repression in the TAR and other Tibetan areas remained high, especially around major religious holidays and sensitive anniversaries. The government remained wary of Tibetan Buddhism and the central role traditionally played by the Dalai Lama and other prominent Tibetan Buddhist leaders. The heads of the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism–including the Karmapa, Sakya Trizin, Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, and Gyalwa Menri Trizin–all reside in exile and maintain close ties with the Dalai Lama. Chinese authorities often associated Tibetan Buddhist monasteries with pro-independence activism.

“Government control over religious practice and the day-to-day management of monasteries and other religious institutions continued to be extraordinarily tight since the spring 2008 outbreak of widespread protests and unrest in Tibetan regions. Monks and nuns reported that government restrictions continued to interfere with their ability to carry out the teaching and practice of Tibetan Buddhist religious traditions. These restrictions included forcing monks and nuns to undergo extensive “patriotic education” in monasteries and nunneries that included significant amounts of “legal education” which detracted from religious studies. In patriotic education sessions, authorities often forced monks and nuns to denounce the Dalai Lama and to study materials praising the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the socialist system. Monks and nuns fled from their monasteries and nunneries because they faced expulsion for refusing to comply with the education sessions. Overall numbers of monks and nuns in monasteries and nunneries remained at significantly lower levels than pre-March 2008.”

The International Religious Freedom report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998.

The full text of the Tibet section of the report can be seen on the State Department’s website.

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