Tibet to Train Buddhist Teachers to be part of a Socialist Society
Recently the authorities in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region launched a five-year training program for Tibetan Buddhism teaching staff as part of efforts to better adapt Tibetan Buddhism to socialist society. Delegations, including monks and nuns, gathered at the Tibet Socialism College in Lhasa on attended the ceremony, Tibetian News reported.
Participants will study national policies, laws and regulations, history and culture, modern knowledge and religious learning, the report said. A special textbook was compiled for the course, as monks and nuns are expected to firmly set up the concept that government power is higher than religious power, and that national laws are above religious rules, the report quoted Danke, head of the United Front Work Department of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, as saying.
Xiong Kunxin, an ethnic studies professor at Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Media that some Tibetan monks and nuns only have a vague or no understanding of these topics, which could lead to illegal activities without them even realizing. Li Decheng, a research fellow at the China Tibetology Research Center, said that Tibetan Buddhism teaching staff, consisting of people in the Tibetan Buddhist world, can spread this knowledge, noting that they are closer to local people than officials.
Danke expects Tibetan religious people to integrate religious doctrines into Chinese culture, link religious rules to national laws and adapt religious activities that suit the social needs, calling them part of the socialism construction work in Tibet.
Training programme for Govt Officials
On the same day, another training course meant for government officials assigned to Tibetan temples was launched in the same location, the tibet.cn report said. Officials will undergo a three-year systematic training, which will improve their personal ability, boost the management of temples and contribute to maintaining harmony and stability in the religious field, Danke said.
Xiong said that regional officials, through the program, will better serve the monks and nuns and guide them to conduct daily religious affairs in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations. Tibet has more than 1,700 religious sites with more than 46,000 Buddhist monks and nuns in-residence, the Xinhua News Agency reported in 2017.
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