Road test site in trouble for inviting Buddhist monks

Society & Culture

A road test site in Leiyang, Hunan Province, was ordered to make a rectification after it was found to have invited eminent monks to the location, to conduct Buddhist rituals to seek blessings for the facility.

In a widely shared video (in Chinese) uploaded by an internet user on June 2, a group of five monks in robes can be seen hosting a blessing ceremony on the site. Standing in front of an altar featuring a Buddha statue with candles and incense, a monk announces, “The ceremony begins.” Later, a man goes down on his knees, waiting for the monks to sprinkle holy water on his head.

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The video soon drew attention from the traffic police bureau in Hengyang, which released a statement (in Chinese) on June 3, saying that the site is still under construction and hasn’t been put into service. Without any form of authorization from the government, the site let the ceremony take place upon request by the construction company. It also announced the suspension of the unfinished construction project due to the negative social impact caused by the monk’s appearance.

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“What to rectify? Buddhism has been part of Chinese culture since ancient times. Buddhist followers didn’t do any harm to others. Which law did this practice violate?” one Weibo user wrote (in Chinese).

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