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  • 23 Jun, 2024
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CCP Imposes Ideology Tests on Tibetan Monks and Nuns in Tibet


                                                                   Source: ICT-Germany

In a significant move to gain control over Tibetan Buddhism, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has implemented measures to ensure ideological conformity among Tibetan monks and nuns. Two recent events highlight the extent of the CCP's efforts to exert influence over this religious community.

The United Front Department of the CCP organized a "knowledge competition" in Shannan Prefecture, wherein Tibetan monks and nuns were required to demonstrate their understanding of party ideology. The competition, as reported by Chinese state media, encompassed various topics, including the "spirit of the 20th century National Congress" of the Communist Party and its policies on ethnicity and religion. A total of 39 monks and nuns from 13 religious institutions in the southeast region of the Autonomous Region of Tibet (TAR) participated in this competition.

An official from the "three-consciousness education group" stated that the objective of this propaganda event was to familiarize monks and nuns with the party's politics, cultivate gratitude for the party's care, and encourage their active involvement in the religious community. Additionally, the aim was to establish a unified way of thinking and foster a strong sense of belonging to the Chinese national community, as mentioned in the state media report.

It remains unclear whether the religious institutions, primarily monasteries, participated in the examination voluntarily or faced negative consequences for refusal. The consequences of performance in the "knowledge competition" were not specified. The reward for the representatives of Samye monastery, declared as the "victors," and any potential punishment for the "losers" are currently unknown.

According to reports from Chinese state media, similar events occurred last year in various parts of Tibet, predominantly in the Autonomous Region of Tibet (TAR). This systematic approach by Chinese authorities indicates a concerted effort to exert control over Tibetan Buddhism. Notably, earlier this month, Chinese propaganda media highlighted another instance of the CCP's attempt to influence Tibetan Buddhism.

A symposium on the development and dissemination of standardized teaching materials for Tibetan Buddhism was held at the Study Institute for Tibetan Buddhism in Beijing. Organized by CCP-affiliated organizations such as the Buddhist Association of China, this event aimed to align Tibetan Buddhism with socialist society.

The creation of a uniform textbook, touted as a milestone in the establishment of a three-stage study system for Tibetan Buddhism, was emphasized during the symposium. High-ranking representatives from the CCP's united front department also participated, underscoring the significance of the teaching material in the "Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism." The explicit goal of this initiative appears to be the integration of Tibetan Buddhism into the principles of socialist society.


Edited and collated by Team TRC