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White paper: Xizang fully guarantees freedom of religious belief

Xinhua | November 10, 2023


The Xizang Autonomous Region fully guarantees the freedom of religious belief and religious activities are carried out in an orderly manner, said a white paper issued on Friday by China's State Council Information Office.

The region today hosts over 1,700 sites for Tibetan Buddhism activities with approximately 46,000 Buddhist monks and nuns, four mosques with about 12,000 native Muslims, and one Catholic church with over 700 believers, said the white paper titled "CPC Policies on the Governance of Xizang in the New Era: Approach and Achievements."

Over 1,700 religious and folk activities, including the Shoton Festival, Butter Lamp Festival, Saga Dawa Festival and the walks around lakes and mountains, help to preserve the solemn traditional rituals and demonstrate new vitality with modern cultural elements, it said.

Reincarnation of living Buddhas is a practice recognized and respected by the government at all levels, according to the white paper.

In 2007, the State-Issued Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism stipulated the principles that should be followed, the conditions that should be met, and the application and approval procedures that should be implemented.

It also specified that reincarnated Tibetan living Buddhas, including Dalai Lamas and Panchen Rinpoches, must be looked for within the country, decided through the practice of lot-drawing from the golden urn, and receive approval from the central government, said the white paper.

The region conducts Tibetan Buddhist activities in an orderly manner and law-based management of religious affairs has made steady progress, it said.

Fully implementing the Party's basic policy on religious affairs, Xizang has guided Tibetan Buddhism in adapting to socialist society, and moved faster to improve the institutions and standards for managing religious affairs in accordance with the law, the white paper said.

Measures of the Xizang Autonomous Region on Implementing the Regulations on Religious Affairs, Measures of the Xizang Autonomous Region on the Management of Major Religious Activities and Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Measures on the Management of Living Buddha Reincarnation of Tibetan Buddhism have been issued and implemented to safeguard the legal rights and interests and order of religious society, properly resolve religion-related differences and disputes, improve monastery management, and promote religious harmony, it said.