News and Views on Tibet

China imposes religious ban on Party members in Golog

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By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 4: Chinese officials have recently imposed ban on religious activities on all former and current party members and cadres in Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the Amdo province, according to the Dharamshala-based Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD). The ban is currently being enforced in Darlag County through a large number of informers to ensure that no Tibetan party member engages in religious rituals including “Kora (circumambulation), using rosary, digital prayer beads and other religious objects.”

The report suggested that the categorical ban on all activities tied to Buddhist religion is akin to measures introduced earlier this year in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). The directive had ordered Party members to shed all aspects of religious life.

“All religious acts associated with the Tibetan way of life were listed as banned, including not sending children to monasteries as monks and nuns or inviting monks and nuns to perform prayers, engaging with religious material online and a complete denouncement of the 14th Dalai Lama,” the report further read.

Chigdril county in Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (Photo- TCHRD)

The importance of Marxism and atheism were highlighted in the directive, where the members were expected to be absolutely loyal to the party and constitution. Members are also needed to “educate” their family about the incompatibility of religion with the CCP’s founding principles and mission. The TCHRD report linked the recent directive with the National Political and Legal Team Education and Rectification Leading Group’s sixth national meeting in Beijing last month.

“The role of the special agency of the Commission for Discipline Inspection and Supervision must be enhanced in order to thoroughly investigate outstanding problems in key areas, eliminate black sheep, and rectify stubborn diseases,” the leading group’s leader Guo Shengkun told the party members on Sept. 13. The current ban is expected to be enforced in other parts of Golok and Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and the rest of TAR in the coming days.

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