Buddhists Across China Were Forced to Celebrate National Day

On the 70th anniversary of Communist China, to show their loyalty to the regime, Buddhist masters were forced to sing patriotic songs, nuns ordered to dance.

by Wang Yichi

“Love your country, love your religion. Do not forget your initial intention. Let’s build a Chinese dream together,” a Buddhist master in Guanshen Temple in Liangbei town, under the jurisdiction of Yuzhou city in the central province of Henan, was leading his congregation in shouting patriotic slogans on October 1, the anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Video: A flag-raising ceremony was organized in the Guanshen Temple to celebrate the National Day.

Believers gathered around the flagpole to honor the raising of the national flag, waving miniature versions of it and singing the national anthem.

A local Buddhist told Bitter Winter that over 100 participants took part in the celebration, including officials from the city’s Religious Affairs Bureau and Buddhist Association, as well as monks and nuns from eight different temples.

After the ceremony, instructed by Religious Affairs Bureau officials, believers shouted out, “Long live the motherland. Amitabha,” and started singing patriotic songs.

Video: A Buddhist master was told to sing a patriotic song during National Day celebrations.

During the celebration, a Buddhist master performed the song “My Chinese Heart,” while 16 nuns in cyan dresses danced to the rhythm of the song “The Chinese Flag.”

Video: 16 nuns danced to a patriotic song.

“Under CCP’s tyranny, Buddhists, who used to enjoy a peaceful life, have been forced into an awkward situation. Masters are no longer masters, and monks don’t look like monks anymore,” an elderly local Buddhist was angered. “With time, traditional Buddhist doctrine will gradually disappear.”

On September 26, Jinxiang Temple in the Yindu district of Henan’s Anyang city also organized a cultural event to celebrate the 70th anniversary. A believer in the temple was pleading to be allowed to sing a Buddhist song, but government officials refused, claiming that “all Buddhist songs are forbidden, only songs advocating the Party are allowed.”

“We have no choice. If we refuse to participate in such performances, we won’t pass our state review, which we have to go through regularly, and won’t have our license renewed,” the same believer later commented to Bitter Winter about China’s repressive religious policies. He added that no license would mean the end to the temple since religious venues are not allowed to organize any activities without it.

Forcing the religious to pledge allegiance to the Communist Party has been one of the regime’s crucial strategies in maintaining its power. On September 5, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau in a county-level city of Lushan, administered by Jiujiang city in Eastern China’s Jiangxi Province, issued a document ordering all religious groups in the city to celebrate the 70th anniversary.

A document issued by the Lushan Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau.

As per the document, people of faith must “accept the red baptism.” They are asked to “offer flowers at the monuments to revolutionary heroes, commemorate their great achievements, and show the highest respect and sentiments to the martyrs.” They are also told “to praise the great changes in China” by singing and writing compositions to “express the religious realm’s patriotic sentiments, keeping to the initial intention, bearing in mind the mission, and always following the Party with one accord in the same direction.”

On September 21, at a National Day celebration in Wanshan Temple in Lushan city, attended by more than 40 participants, including provincial government officials, temple’s monks and nuns had to swear allegiance and loyalty to the Party and the country.

Believers from Wanshan Temple took part in a flag-raising ceremony on October 1.(Photo: Bitter Winter)

Source: Bitter Winter