Tibetan temples conduct exams on Constitution, rules

By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/22 21:08:39

Conduct exams on Constitution, regulations among monks

Temples in Tibet tested monks on their knowledge of Chinese laws to make Buddhists more aware of the laws.

Sera Monastery, one of three major temples in Lhasa, Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, conducted an examination on Wednesday among its 400 monks, chinanews.com reported on Wednesday.

The exam touched on the Constitution and regulations on religious affairs. Other monasteries in the region have been conducting similar examinations, the report said.

"Theft, for example, not only violates the law, but also breaks the Shramanera Precepts and the temple's regulation," said Ngawang, a Buddhist in Sera Monastery, chinanews.com reported.

"Knowledge of the laws can make me a patriotic good monk, regulate my behavior and help us better obey Buddhist commandments," he said.

This is the first time that temples are conducting examinations on laws among Tibetan monks despite weekly lectures on the laws, chinanews.com reported, citing Palbar Tsering, head of the publicity office of the Sera Monastery Administrative Board.

"Tibetan lamas and nuns are Chinese citizens first, and there is no exception for them to abide by the laws and rules of the country," Xiong Kunxin, a professor at Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Xiong noted that some Buddhists commit crimes because they did not know they were breaking the law or the legal consequences of their actions.

The Tibet regional government has issued multiple regulations related to Tibetan Buddhism in recent years, including a regulation that oversees religious activity venues, to provide support to a sustainable management mechanism toward Tibetan Buddhism, chinanews.com reported.

"The greatest obstacle is the difference in language. Many Buddhists cannot read mandarin and have to take an exam using the Tibetan language," Xiong noted.

Different ways of providing legal education, such as campaigns and case studies, can be introduced to better familiarize Tibetan Buddhists with the laws, Xiong said.

Officials in Qiongjie county are expected to study the Constitution, amended and approved on March 11, at every local village. Activities such as lectures and group studies on the Constitution will also be held, according to Tashi Gyaltsen, a Qiongjie Party official.

In Tibet there were 1,787 different types of sites for religious activities, 46,000 monks and nuns with 358 Living Buddhas in Tibet by 2015, people.cn reported.


Newspaper headline: Tibet spreads Chinese law knowledge


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