Make A Difference Today: Say Yes to Religious Freedom

A Public Appeal to H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama to Stop the 20-year-long Persecution of Shugden Buddhists

As the ban on the Wisdom Buddha Dorje Shugden approaches its 20th year, there is no sign of the religious persecution, faith-based discrimination and suffering endured by Shugden Buddhists abating.

As one of the major controversies surrounding Tibetan Buddhism, it is no surprise that the ban on Dorje Shugden’s practice has received much media attention, especially in the West. From Al Jazeera to France 24, from SwissTV to the Guardian and Fox News, the Dorje Shugden ban implemented and enforced by the 14th Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government has been researched, discussed and dissected.

Yet, despite extensive evidence of Human Rights Abuses, Violations of Religious Freedom and various accounts of Shugden Buddhists suffering from persecution, discrimination and violence, there is still no sign of the issue being resolved by those who can make a difference.

On the 20-year anniversary of the Dorje Shugden ban, we at wish to bring to light once again the history of this unethical ban, the sufferings it has caused and what all Shugden Buddhists around the world are tirelessly petitioning for. This is also a reminder that the fight to lift the Shugden ban is far from over, and that we should once again rekindle our resolve to see the end of such faith-based discrimination that has no place in the 21st Century.


1. A Religious Ban Begins

In March 1996, the 14th Dalai Lama banned the 400-year-old religious practice of Dorje Shugden, a Buddhist Deity whose worship was widespread in Tibet. As a result, over 4 million Shugden Buddhists worldwide have experienced tremendous suffering.

…yesterday we decreed that it will not be right for worshippers of Gyalchen [Dorje Shugden] to be among our audience … If there are any people unknown to me who have crept into this audience who are nevertheless worshippers of Shugden, it is better for you not to stay among us. – H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, 21st March 1996

2. Living Without Religious Freedom

If you private monks and spiritual masters in the monastic colleges continue making excuses and continue worshipping thus, you shall have a day of regret… it will not be good if we have to knock on your doors. – H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, 21st March 1996
From 1996 to the present time, the Tibetan Government in Exile has launched insidious campaigns of psychological abuse and physical threats to systematically purge Shugden Buddhists from the Tibetan refugee community in India. These misleading campaigns have turned the sentiments of the general public against Shugden Buddhists, causing great suffering and hardship.

For instance:

  • From April 1996 onwards, signature campaigns are organized in monasteries and Tibetan refugee settlements, forcing Tibetans to take an oath against the practice of Dorje Shugden, all under the supervision of the Dalai Lama’s Private Office.
  • Around the same time, monastery abbots are forced to expel Shugden-practicing monks, at the behest of the Dalai Lama’s Private Office. Shugden Buddhists are banned from attending religious mass.
  • In May 1996, the Shugden Society of Delhi receives a letter from the then Tibetan Prime Minister Kalon Sonam Topgyal, who rejects the rights to religious freedom of Shugden Buddhists:
    …concepts like democracy and freedom of religion are empty when it concerns the well-being of H.H. the Dalai Lama and the common cause of Tibet. – Kalon Sonam Topgyal
  • In June 1996, an 8-point Resolution is passed by the Tibetan parliament to implement and enforce the ban on Dorje Shugden. Tibetan government employees are forced to resign if they refuse to comply.
    In case there is anyone who doesn’t abide by the addresses of His Holiness to give up Shugden worship, then, since there is nothing more important that the well-being of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan cause, such persons should submit their resignation. There is no other alternative for such person. – Tibetan Department of Health
  • The Tibetan Youth Congress conducts house-to-house searches and forces entry to private property to confiscate and destroy statues, paintings and holy objects of Dorje Shugden.
  • Shugden Buddhists who refuse to give up their rights to religious freedom are subjected to physical violence, slander, intimidation, vandalism of personal property, public shaming, witch hunts, deprivation of medical treatment, education and supplies, and various other methods of persecution to coerce them into complying with the religious ban.
  • Those who are brave enough to speak up against the Dorje Shugden ban are falsely accused of being Chinese spies. Posters with their pictures and personal details are placed around the Tibetan settlements in India.
  • In March 2014, all Shugden Buddhists are recognized as ‘Criminals in History’ through the Tibetan Government in Exile’s parliamentary resolution.
  • Groups of Shugden Buddhists submit open letters and appeals for dialogue with the Dalai Lama on numerous occasions, but no action is taken.

More evidence of the Dorje Shugden ban and the 20-year-long religious persecution of Shugden Buddhists by the Tibetan Government can be found at


3. Religious Persecution Must End Here

…no government has the right to tell people how to worship and certainly not the right to discriminate against them or persecute them for the way they choose to express their faith… – Senator Joseph Lieberman, 1998
Like any breach of human rights in history, a movement must be initiated to bring about positive change. We are campaigning for an end to the discrimination against the people of our faith – a discrimination that has been created through the actions of the 14th Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government.

We are requesting the Dalai Lama to make the following public and written announcements:

  1. That both individuals and communities should immediately cease all discrimination against Dorje Shugden and Shugden Buddhists;
  2. That they should maintain harmonious relationships with Shugden Buddhists and never attempt to harm them either directly or indirectly;
  3. That the Tibetan leadership should engage in live televised dialogue with Shugden Buddhist leaders to peacefully resolve this present problem.


4. Help Make A Difference

We respectfully request you to use your influence to help millions of Shugden Buddhists who are presently suffering religious persecution and discrimination perpetrated by the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan leadership.
You can help by:

  1. Organizing or participating in peaceful demonstrations. Educate the public with this simple factsheet and video.
  2. Writing letters to your local council or representative requesting them to take strong action against the persecution of Shugden Buddhists in your community.
  3. Signing a petition requesting for dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives to resolve this issue peacefully:
  4. Creating awareness of the on-going persecution of Shugden Buddhists by sharing this simple graphic on social media.

Over 4 million people around the world are suffering.
Help us end this in 2016.



Please support this website by making a donation.
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our work to spread Dorje Shugden across the world.

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21 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. The ban on Dorje Shugden by the Tibetan leadership had caused harm and sufferings on Shugden practitioners. Shugden practitioners are being robbed of religious freedom and human rights. Funds, which are donated by kind sponsors all over the world are being spent actively to :

    1. Inflict fear on Shugden practitioners by confining of their own homes.
    2. Invade private residences of Dorje Shugden practitioners e.g. the Thubten family and also private residences of erudite lama e.g. the 84 year old Gen. Chonze.
    3. Prohibit Dorje Shugden practitioners from entering Sera Monastery, South India.
    4. Publish a hit list of Shugden practitioners on the CTA’s website, inciting active persecution since the details of Shugden practitioners was made available publicly.
    5. Expel hundreds of Dorje Shugden monks from their monasteries for upholding the lineage passed on to them by their Gurus.
    6. Eradicate all Dorje Shugden images from temples, monasteries, Dharma centers and even private spaces. Statues, thangkas, tsatsas, prints and scripture… nothing was spared.
    7. Put up signs at public places i.e. monasteries and hospitals as well as private spaces like retail and grocery stores to disallow Dorje Shugden practitioners from entering.
    8. Deny Dorje Shugden practitioners access to medical assistance in public hospital.

    The voices of Tibetan people, especially the Shugden practitioners are muffled and ignored, while the CTA actively promotes unsubstantiated ranting of individuals and opinions of those who degrade Dorje Shugden. This is inhumane and injustice. Please help to lift Dorje Shugden ban and end the sufferings and harms.

  2. As mentioned, with all the publicity given to the religious persecution of Dorje Shugden practioners due to the ban imposed by the Dalai Lama and CTA, why haven’t those in position taken steps to help those in need? Although many heads of countries have reduced the importance of the Dalai Lama in favour of China due to the trade and political partnership potential, they have not actualised any dialogue between the Dalai Lama or CTA with the Shugden practitioners on the issue of the ban which had caused so much sufferings and harm to the practitioners.

    On top of the ban, the kind donations/sponsorships of countries and individuals meant for alleviating the terrible living conditions of the Tibetans-In Exile had been blatantly squandered by CTA for their lavish lifestyles and for their hate campaign against Shugden practitioners, with hardly any left to help those who are actually in need. Those who were given the opportunities are those who comply with CTA’s directives which probably include harsh actions against Shugden practitioners. Young people in higher education using the social media to show off their prowess of English by vulgarly swearing at Shugden practitioners without any fear of impunity. These youngsters are the future of Tibetans-In-Exile groomed by examples of the current CTA heads, the likes of Lobsang Sangay and Penpa Tsering.

    The ban is the only current cause of division within the Tibetans-In-Exile and to lift the ban means unity for the people. With this unity, more temperate role models will be available and have greater voice, which in turn will help to influence the future of their leadership. Definitely better outlook for the welfare of the people. Of course then the current CTA officials will be threaten of their position, which is also good because they will then start to force themselves to be considerate to the people under their administration.

    May the Dalai Lama swiftly manifest his true nature of Avalokitesvara to help his people from further degeneration, both secular and religious, and to stop further accumulation of the terrible karma already heaped up like Mount Meru.

  3. Did you know that the 5th Dalai Lama engaged in HUMAN SACRIFICES?

    Please google Dayisun Tngri and go to the entry on him.

    It states, “Dayisun Tngri…is a Mongolian WAR GOD of a protective function, to whom CAPTURED ENEMIES WERE SOMETIMES SACRIFICED…THE 5TH DALAI LAMA COMPOSED INVOCATIONS TO THIS DEITY.”

    What captured enemies would the 5th Dalai Lama sacrifice to Dayisun Tngri?
    There were no external enemies against Tibet since the 5th was protected by Gushri Khan and his Mongolian army. The 5th Dalai Lama’s only enemies were internal enemies, they were TIBETANS. Who could these TIBETAN ENEMIES HAVE BEEN. They would have been the Sakya,Jonanga,Drikung and Karma Kagyu monks who opposed the GREAT 5TH DALAI LAMA. These captured monks would become HUMAN SCARIFICE to HIS Mongolian WAR GOD. These murdered monks would be payment from the 5th Dalai Lama for services rendered by Dayisun Tngri.

    If this was 300 years ago it would be we followers of Dorje Shugden who would have been HUMAN SACRIFICES to Dayisun Tngri. We would have been the ENEMY that would have been SLAUGHTERED BY THE 5TH DALAI LAMA. The 5th Dalai Lama would have COMPOSED INVOCATIONS TO DAYISUN TNGRI TO DESTROY DORJE SHUGDEN AND WE HIS FOLLOWERS.

    There is no difference between the 5th and the 14th Dalai Lama. He will never lift his ban and all we can do is pray for his swift passing from this world.

  4. @Harold,

    You are right about the 5th and 14th being the same.

    When we see the activities of the 5th and 14th Dalai Lama, and we examine what factors steer their decisions, we see that both are really politicians in disguise as religious heads. Both use their ‘spiritual authority’ as weapons against their enemies. And both the 5th and 14th preyed on their own people instead of external enemies.

    The 5th Dalai Lama’s regent murdered Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen and now the 14th Dalai Lama’s government has been trying for 20 years to bury Dorje Shugden who arose from death of Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen. History repeats itself. But just as the 5th inflicted great harm towards Tulku Drakpa Gyaltsen’s lineage but failed to destroy it, neither with the 14th succeed in destroying the Shugden lineage.

    In seeing the similarities between the 5th and 14th Dalai Lamas, we see also how ancient, archaic and violent the present Dalai Lama’s thinking really is. It must be the biggest joke of the century to have awarded him a Peace Prize.

  5. May the ban be lifted as soon as possible. There are too much pain and suffering behind the ban. Discrimination, bullying, violence, segregation, violation of human rights and religious freedom must stop immediately!!.
    Compassion and kindness should be equally treated to all sentient being. Politicized the Dorje Shugden Ban only creates more and more pain, hatred and violence. We DO NOT need these! We already have enough suffering around us!!

    May the Dorje Shugden Ban be lifted. Om Benza Wiki Bitana Soha.

  6. The 20th year anniversary of the instigation of the outright and unlawful ban on the practice of Dorje Shugden! I am very glad that administrators sought to highlight this to the world on this website.

    It is very sad to see such viciousness perpetrated against sincere Buddhist practitioners, who have no political aims but the simple religious aim of practicing their faith in peace. Dorje Shugden practitioners have not been given the freedoms as other Tibetans in their religious free. And this whole unjust situation has been formalised by the Central Tibetan Administration, who for some reason seem hell-bent on benefiting from their own position rather than being a real leadership that makes a real positive difference in the lives of Tibetans in exile in India.

    This article really highlights and summarizes all that is wrong with the ban and how negatively it impacts not only the Tibetan people but also Tibetan Buddhists from all over the world. May the ban be ended soon, and through the efforts of this website may the Dalai Lama implement a change, showing his compassionate nature.

  7. It’s pure samsara when it comes to the Dorje Shugden issue. The CTA is just doing all it can to stay in power and reap the benefit of having a very full coffer. Reading other articles on the embezzlement by associates of the CTA and Dalai Lama is distressing to say the least.

    That’s why the CTA keeps the Tibetans divided and distracted, so that they cannot see the truth of what is happening under their very own noses.

    It is just so very sad for the Tibetans that they have to suffer the lack of religious freedom with the ban on DOrje Shugden. Plus the Karmapa issue thrown, will widen the net of suffering for the Tibetans. Is this the way the CTA is practicing equanimity?

    As usual the team at has done another outstanding job of pointing out all taht is wrong with the current CTA.

  8. The Dalai Lama and CTA have no integrity in their words. One moment they talk about bringing peace to the world, the next they ban and persecute Shugden practitioners. Anyone that does not agree with the Dalai Lama gets the short end. Dorje Shugden practitioners are not the only ones that experience these unfair, unjust and degradation from the CTA and Dalai Lama. Recently we’ve seen how the Kagyupas who’s supporters of Karmapa Thaye Dorje have expressed their great dissatisfaction on the oppression and their efforts to spread the Dharma sabotaged by the CTA and DL. This is only one example… and lets not forget about Drugpa Kagyus whose monasteries were forcibly converted.

    Historical evidence even shows how the DL and Tibetan leadership uses the monasteries as a form of political power play and influence, and it is no surprise that the Dorje Shugden issue is just another victim of their devious plot. Unfortunately, the regular people do not see this… and many Tibetans’ devotion towards the Dalai Lama conveniently blinds them of these madness…

    As long as the Tibetans themselves do not stand up and say no, and demand some logic and explanation, they will be just like sheep among wolves… Today it maybe Shugden pas and Kagyupas that’s being suppressed… tomorrow, it may be a different story.

  9. Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private. Accept and respect others religions as a kind of human being, tolerance is a good cornerstone on which to build human relationships. When one views the slaughter and suffering caused by religious intolerance , one can see that intolerance is a very non-survival activity. Respect and do not attack others religious faith and belief.

  10. Thank you for this article which I believe is timely with now the controversy surrounding the ban which have not been lifted despite so many quarters have proven time and again for 20 years that all of it are wrong and misinformed information. It is very clear that this unfounded and false accusations on what has been said about Dorje Shudgen yet again has proven to be only a concoction of discrimating lies, fabrication, demeaning and wild accusations.
    No one should tell another to give up a faith that he or she believes in let alone issuing a blanket ban and a decree unless proven that Dorje Shudgen is an evil entity. It is a conjecture by some quarters blend in with some retired oracles misleading advice that caused so much pain, agony, hatred, anger among the Tibetans living in exile. I would urge with my sincere heart that The Dalai Lama lift this ban because many innocent Tibetans as well as Dorje Shudgen followers are now living in miseries, confusion and abject poverty because of this ban.

  11. Over 4 million people around the world are suffering. Wow…. what’s a great number with huge influence to cause all these people in suffering.

    Buddhas’ teachings tell us to practice compassion and kindness to all sentient beings. When we look at the insects, ants and etc passed by a place, we will let them go/liberated them. But now, we are talking about 4 million people’s lives. They are in suffering just because of this “unethical ban”. For those Anti Shugden people, if you can liberate for the small ants/insects, but why not Shugden practitioners???

    May His Holiness Dalai Lama stop the Shugden ban. Please help to stop the causes of Shugden practitioners’ suffering.

  12. 20-year anniversary of the Dorje Shugden ban. It is very sad that the ban has been going on for 20 years.

    Things have not improved every since, and now, after 2014, all Shugden Buddhists are recognised as ‘Criminals in History’ through the Tibetan Government in Exile’s parliamentary resolution. The resolution does not make any distinction between Tibetan and non-Tibetan practitioners of Dorje Shugden. Thus, that means the CTA have knowingly labelled citizens of other nations as “criminals”, when their only ‘crime’ is the fact they have their own religious beliefs.

    The doctrine of Dorje Shugden does not encourage anything evil or harmful. There are many good articles here, and I appreciate the team working hard to bring us news, updates, and wonderful article in this challenging time.

    This new article, “6 Theories as to Why the Dalai Lama Imposed the Ban on Dorje Shugden” has interesting point of view, I have not read it completely, but will take the time to.

    The Shugden ban instills hatred that segregates the people further, so that is one good reason beside other arguments of why this Dorje Shugden ban has to stop. This is not a religious issue, but one of human rights.

  13. Because of the basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence, because of space and conciousnesscontinuum, wisdom and compassion is allways there and can be studied and practices anyway, no matter what happend, happens or will happen.

    Violence of any kind, rooted in the illusions of ignorance, duality and harmful eternalistic and nihilistic views that arise from duality, as well as harmful thoughts and emotions (harmful motivation) and harmful actions of mind, speech and body, cant stop, manipulate or destroy wisdom and compassion/conciousnesscontinuum – basic freedom of lastingness and non.existence, because everything is free of lastingness and therefore can’t destroy this freedom of lastingness itself.

    Therefore Violence is weak and has no control at all about you or someone else or something else.

    YOU ARE ALL FREE! You only belong to the Kingdom. Government and Law of space, of wisdom and compassion, of basic freedom of lastingness and non-existence!

    Just unify yourself with space.

  14. Discrimination against religious practice is obsolete and primitive in this day and age. What makes it worst is when it is done in the name of an icon of peace, tolerance and compassion.

    The suffering that is permitted to last for 20 years must come to an end now. It is inhumane. Not only by those who persecute the victims but also by those who permit this persecution by remaining g silent.please support this cause to end religious discrimination and breach of human rights.

  15. 20 years of ban on religious belief. This is not acceptable in a democratic country. Everyone has human rights and religious freedom is only one part of it. I do not understand why Tibetan leaders discriminate Dorje Shugden practitioners. Don’t everyone deserve to be treated fairly? Why would someone need to resign because of his/ her belief, not able to attend school, public events, seeking medical treatment in hospital and so forth. This discrimination is truly a disgrace.

    The reason that Dorje Shugden practise is ban because it is believe to be evil. However, the source of this practise can be traced back 400 years ago and it has been practised by many high erudite lamas. If we believe that Dorje Shugden is evil then it means all these lamas have broken their refuge vows. And if they have broken their refuge vows, how then can so many of these high lamas still be reincarnated and come back and continue to teach dharma ? Doesn’t quite make sense.

    It has also been proven that it brings so much benefit to the practitioners. Dorje Shugden is an emanation of Manjushri and enlightened Dharma protector. Then how can it be evil?

    I hope more people will do more research about Dorje Shugden before jumping the gun and accuse the practitioners. The ban and discrimination must stop.

  16. 20 years of ban is really quote sufficient. It has been a painful 2 decades for many. On top of that it never fulfilled any of the reasons which were used to justify the ban for instance :-
    1) DS practice shortens HH the Dalai Lama”s life. This is not true as HH is in his ripe old age and with greatest sincerity I wish for him to continue to live long to benefit more beings.
    2) DS practice will hinder the Tibetan government from getting back their home land . The CTA has failed at every level since 1959 to gain any form of independence or autonomy from the Chinese government and uses Dorje Shugden as one of their scapegoats for their failure.

    I appeal strongly to the CTA please lift the Dorje Shugden ban and allow unbiased religious liberty to all practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism.

  17. 20 years of suppression and segregation… Dorje Shugden practitioners’ suffering is not something irrelevant or small because the pain is real, the discrimination is real and so is the ban.

    Why are other practices allowed but not Dorje Shugden’s? Why so biased? Even if it’s only a person’s faith, still, no one has the right to segregate this person. This ban has been going on way too long now, I pray that may His Holiness lift the ban very swiftly.

  18. Its been 20 years now and that the Dorje Shudgen is a thorn and bring misery to Tibetans and practitioners of the Gaden lineage, why haven’t CTA made any overtures to resolve this issue. Thats because they do not want to want resolve or don’t have the time to, since they are raking in the money from the Tibetans in exile and their schemes to milk the highly underdeveloped tibetans.

    One of the things that bugs me is why isn’t the Dorje Shudgen issue recognised as a humanrights issue yet, there amount of evidence is damning yet no single humanrights agency would want to recognize it as such. Puzzling to me.

  19. Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right that protects the conscience of all people. It allows us to think, express and act upon what we deeply believe. but CTA comes from different world so they ban Dorje Shugden practice.. i don’t see any harm practicing lol.. Dorje Shugden does not encourage anything evil or harmful. There are many good articles and great lamas still alive.. we should appreciate which gives article to understand the real region behind CTA discriminating..

  20. We, humans, just have to learn to live with all the diverse people on this Earth. But, the sad thing is that humans, being humans, can claim to love all as equals but will practice what the “Animal Farm” details – all are equal, some are more e

  21. (continue)

    …. more equal than others.

    when i found Tibetan Buddhism, I thought that was it, the Buddha taught equanimity and compassion and gratitude. Well, the Buddha’s teachings is very true and good but again man, corrupted it.

    If religion and government can be separated, then there may well be hope for Buddhism.

    May that come to pass.

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.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

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