Chinese government walls up, dismantles, defaces Buddhist statues in effort to stamp out religion
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As part of its efforts to subjugate religion in China, photos have surfaced showing the Communist Chinese government defacing, walling up, and tearing down Buddhist statues across the country.
According to the report by Bitter Winter, the Dahebei Ecological Garden Cemetery in Liaoning Province's Tieling County was forced to give a "facelift" to its Guanyin statue or have its face dismantled. Over the course of three months, the heads of the "Four-Faced Guanyin" were modified to look like petals of a bizarre lotus flower.
"Four-Faced Guanyin" before alternation (left), the new "lotus flower" (right). (Bitter Winter photo)
A 10-meter statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Tieling County's Junlongquan Cemetery has now been obscured with two layers. It was initially covered over with galvanized iron sheets with the The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars inscribed on them. However, communist officials felt this was not enough and the statue has now been entombed in a faint vertical sarcophagus made of marble slabs, according to Bitter Winter.
On June 20, in the Cangshan Scenic Area of Shanxi Province's Yangquan City, the local government surrounded a 16-meter-high Guanyin statue with scaffolding under the guise of carrying out "renovations." However, the entire statue was completely dismantled using a crane, and a staff member told Bitter Winter that "The government claimed that tourist areas aren’t the places for worshipping Buddha, no Bodhisattva statues are allowed there."
In May, the United Front Work Department of Datong city in Shanxi Province's Lingqiu County posted a "rectification" list that ordered a crackdown on outdoor statues. In June, a 15-meter Bodhisattva statue located in the county's Xuanlong Temple was torn down, according to the report.