Religion and Politics by nellycious

Religion and Politics

In the early years of Mao Zedong's dictatorship, some monasteries and temples were converted to secular use. Others became state-operated organizations, and the priests and monks became employees of the state. These state-operated temples and monasteries tended to be in large cities and other places likely to receive foreign visitors. They were intended for show, in other words.

In 1953 all of Chinese Buddhism was organized into the Buddhist Association of China. The purpose of this organization was and is to place all Buddhists under the leadership of the Communist Party so that Buddhism will support the party's agenda. It should be noted that when China brutally suppressed Tibetan Buddhism in 1959, the Buddhist Association of China fully approved the actions of the government of China.

During the "Cultural Revolution" that began in 1966, Mao's Red Guards did incalculable damage to Buddhist temples and art as well as to the Chinese sangha. After Mao Zedong's death in 1976 the government of China relaxed -- somewhat -- its oppression of religion, and Buddhism made a slow comeback. However, Buddhist institutions are still controlled by the government, and the Buddhist Association of China still exists to keep Buddhism in line.

- Barbara O'Brien, Buddhism in Today's China

...just some stuff I found lying around the house, and found an article that related to the items I photographed. I learned something new today because of photography. Neat, innit?
Nice focus and nice caption.
January 19th, 2011  
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