CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 9 September 2017

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Monks’ residence gets the ax

HONG KONG (SE): The government in the Sichuan province of China has begun pulling down 2,000 residences used by Tibetan clergy at the Yachen Gar Buddhist Centre.
 
Radio Free Asia reports that it is expected that an equal number of monks and nuns will be kicked out of the complex by the end of the year. “Chinese authorities ordered the demolition of 2,000 houses of monks and nuns at Yachen Buddhist Centre this year,” Radio Free Asia was told.
 
“The demolition began on August 8 and the work is said to be ongoing at Yachen Gar, while the same number of monks and nuns are also to be expelled from the Buddhist Centre this year alone,” the report says.
 
The monks and nuns were told to tear down the wooden homes and that contractors would be sent in to knock down the concrete structures. 
 
A nun was injured in the demolition. Yachen Gar, in Kardze prefecture’s Palyul county, was founded in 1985 and was home to an estimated 10,000 monks, nuns and lay practitioners devoted to scripture study and meditation.
 
Following the start of demolition, a senior lama at the complex issued an appeal to the monks and nuns to exercise patience and tolerance.
 
“This is an order from the powerful authorities and cannot be resisted, just as falling boulders from a mountain cannot be stopped,” the lama said.
 
“Yachen monks and nuns are solely focussed on Buddhist practice and not involved in any form of politics,” the report says.

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