Through 60 years of occupation by China, Tibet has continued to assert its unique culture and Buddhist religion.
According to Free Tibet, the Chinese government has closed most Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, jailed monks and banned the display of images of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, who was forced to flee the country in 1959.
In a recent effort to curb the transfer of Tibetan culture—which the Chinese Communist Party calls “backwards, barbaric and based on superstition”—to a new generation, the Chinese government has issued a letter of prohibitions to Tibetan Buddhists. Among other things, the order bars Buddhist children from participating in summer vacation religious activities.
According to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sends Tibetan teenagers away for political education in mainland China and young monks are forced to leave their monasteries and study at CCP-run schools.
In addition, in May, Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk was sentenced to prison for “inciting separatism” because of his support of teaching Tibetans in their native language.
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.
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