Daily Archives: January 28, 2012

Tibetan Temples Forced to Display Communist Leader Portraits

A woman passes in front of a poster featuring Communist Party leaders of China including Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao in Shanghai, China. Kevin Lee/Bloomberg

NTD TV | Jan 27, 2012

January 22nd, 2012, the eve of Chinese New Year. Chinese officials in the Tibet Autonomous Region held a ceremony to unveil a portrait of four Communist leaders: Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. They go on to state that they will send these portraits, as well as Communist flags, to villages, homes, and temples in the region.

It’s estimated that one million of these items have already been sent.

Chair of the Chinese Social Democratic Party, Liu Yinquan, believes the Chinese Communist Party is trying to use its symbols to replace those of traditional Tibetan Buddhism.

[Liu Yinquan, Chair of Chinese Social Democratic Party]:

“The Communist regime uses its single party rule and its party culture and symbols to slowly eliminate the Buddhist faith. This is in accordance with the religious policy that the Communist Party has always had. The Chinese Communist Party, on the surface, its constitution allows religious freedom, but it is actually changing religion, using religion to strengthen its single party rule, turning religion into a tool for its united front.”

In December 2011, authorities in Tibet introduced the “Nine Must-Haves” policy. It dictates nine items that all temples must display or carry portraits of Communist leaders, the Communist flag and a copy of the state-run People’s Daily.

[Liu Yinquan, Chair of Chinese Social Democratic Party]:
“Every situation has its specified ornaments, a temple is a place to worship the Buddha. So it should have the Buddhist scriptures, a Buddha statue, it has to have these things that are related to Buddhism. If you bring these other things in, it will make it all messed up.”

On the Lunar New Year itself, and just one day after the portrait ceremony, Chinese forces opened fire on Tibetan protesters in a Tibetan region of Sichuan. Recent clashes have left dozens of people wounded, with reports of several deaths.

The Chinese regime will close Tibet from February 20th until March 30th. That’s during the Tibetan New Year and the anniversary of the 2008 Tibetan riots, both sensitive dates for the regime.