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Protection of Tibetan religious freedom: past versus present
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14:47, April 22, 2008

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"In those days, Tibet's local doctrines made religious belief totally compulsory; while nowadays China's legislations ensure complete freedom of religious belief for all individuals," said Professor Sherab Nyima, the Vice President of China's Central University of Nationalities, when he met the press at the 1st Beijing Human Rights Forum held on April 21.

He said that according to old Tibetan doctrines, Tibetan Buddhism was the only religion accessible to and permissible for the public; yet all other religions were banned entirely.

Sherab Nyima pointed out that before the founding of New China, Tibet was a society guided by the feudal serfdom system. The social fabric and the doctrines then decided that the masses of serfs could not enjoy basic human rights – such as survival rights and human dignity – let alone the right of religious freedom. Today China's Constitution stipulates that the freedom of religious belief is every citizen's basic right.

According to Thiru N. Ram, Editor-in-chief of the Hindu, an independent Indian newspaper, many of the accusations made by the Dalai clique about China contradict reality and facts: Tibet boasts 1,700 monasteries and temples, as well as some gathering places for Tibetan Buddhism, with 46,000 monks and nuns. In addition, Tibet also contains four Mosques serving 3,000 Muslims and one Catholic Church serving 700 Christians.

By People's Daily Online

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