Author Topic: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China  (Read 17103 times)

bambi

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I was really sad when I read this. Something is not right. How can the government simply tear down any temple that they like? Plus it has been around for so many years. So much history and memories for some not forgetting those who go there to pray and make offerings.

I feel really sad for the nuns who are leaving there and they have to leave everything behind and start somewhere new. Its always about money that drive people to do things like this...

It was December 11, the Ruiyun Temple in China’s southern city of Fuzhou was sealed and surrounded by security guards. The two nuns, one aged 70 and the other 84, were carried out. To them, this could be the end of their 3 year long fight to keep the temple intact.

Ruiyun Temple was built in 1896 and has since been holding an important position in China’s Buddhism world because a very famous local Buddha is here. The temple was ordered to move 3 years ago to make way for a real estate project aiming at renovating the old town. That was the start of the two nuns’ nightmare.

By Chinese law, before demolishing religious venues for urban development, local governments must first get the nod from related religious groups. But the nuns in Ruiyun Temple never agreed to anything. In fact, they were not given the chance to. Local government in Fuzhou set up a “management committee” made up by nearby villagers and forced the nuns and followers living in the temple out of the negotiation process.

Three years have passed, no agreement has been made. No one in the temple knows where the moving compensation money goes. And the ones who want to keep the temple find nowhere to appeal. But the temple has to go.

On the morning of December 8, the entire temple was surrounded by machineries and strangers with tools, tools that can tear things apart and smash Buddha statues.  By 9 am that morning, Ruiyun Temple was completed cut off. Local police came but only to prevent journalists from taking pictures. When the demolition team finally left around 9 pm that night, almost everything in the temple was either taken away or in pieces.

To the ears of many Chinese, the story is painfully familiar. The last time when temples were in danger in China, it was the Cultural Revolution. “Reading this news about tearing down temples and evicting nuns is like reading the history. Is the current government heading towards an end like the other Dynasties in history?” One netizen ???? asked.

The most shocking thing about the story, like many netizens commented, is that the local government showed no respect to religion: “Money and power are the only things that they worship.” In the comments left to the news, most netizens agreed that in the Buddhist law of causation, the ones who were involved in the force demolition will one day get the “fruits” of their karma.

“They can tear down a temple, but they can never tear down people’s faith.” One netizen_????_ commented. In a short video shot by journalists from iFeng, the 84-year-old nun living in the temple calmly finished her last worship of each and every Buddha in the temple, only 20 minutes before the force demolition started.




Kim Hyun Jae

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2013, 07:54:52 AM »
From the pictures posted here, this temple is built on a high mountain peak  overlooking perhaps clouds. Ancient temple are usually built on sites that were carefully selected but the sangha community and lay people alike for auspicious reasons. If there is a temple located near us,  it tend to bring lots of good luck and blessings in the area. This is a real pity to demolish an ancient well preserved temple just to make way for Big Bucks and commercialism for the government or private enterprise. Is it worth it? They could have made an excuse telling the public that its an unsafe structure or its on the verge of collapse. Why did they hurriedly cart away 2 elderly nuns from there? Heartless!

psylotripitaka

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 03:49:25 AM »
Samsara is relentless!

"The end if collection is dispersion."

'I must attain liberation as soon as possible', 'I will liberate all my mothers quickly'

diablo1974

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2013, 07:25:27 AM »
Many of such smaller monastery and heritage sites which are obstructing the development works of country might be demolished to give way. There are just too many religious sites in china. Only those which are of great significance and historical values will be kept and sited for tourism purposes. Its sad to see such news but its a fact that is happening not only in China but in other part of the world unreported.

cookie

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2013, 11:42:27 AM »
 It seems clear that no one is willing or interested in financially supporting this old temple. Also the two old nuns are not able to raise any more funds to run or keep the temple. Looking at the picture of this temple, its grounds and surroundings are beautiful and hence, probably has a high commercial value for new buildings or projects. So its not surprising at all that in this degenerate times, money speaks louder then Dharma.

Its disgusting to read about this temple being" forcefully" removed. I am sure there could have been more reasonable methods or compensations that could have been applied to deal with it; or some parts of the temple could have been maintained as it is probably highly blessed having been around for more then 100years. The 100 years of prayers and chanting must have penetrated through all the walls and grounds to make this place highly blessed . People who come visit must feel very peaceful in its surroundings.

Manjushri

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2013, 02:30:24 PM »
Imagine you were forced out of your own home by a group of strangers in your later stage of life. Would you like that? These holy blessed nuns have been living on these grounds and taking care of the property probably for a very long time and imagine, just imagine how they would feel now, with no where to go, no home they can call home, no funds for surviving out there, no place conducive for their practise..

It is disgusting when people use force to gain. Like how animal abuse takes place, this is no different. People do it just because they can. Sigh.

The destruction of temples means the destruction of spirituality and religion. No wonder we are in an era of degeneration.

kris

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 10:43:58 AM »
On one hand, we hear that president Xi JinPing said wanted to promoted Buddhism, then on another hand, we see the local councils tearing down the temple with more than 100 years history.

China has grown so fast in the past few decades, and people has enjoyed tremendous financial situation, but because they have been suppressed from materialism due to the communism government from the last few decades, people now mainly focus on financial status and basically put spirituality to the rubbish bin.

It is very important to have temples and religion to counter the mindset of people who only focus on materialism. It has been said many times that a temple is better than 100 police stations, because it stops people from committing crime in the first place.

I hope president Xi can give stronger direction to the local councils to let Buddhism grow bigger without hindrances.

Klein

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 05:21:11 AM »
As many above have mentioned, this is a sign of degeneration where people are more focused on materialism than dharma. The state government placed less importance on reviving Buddhism in the temple because if he had known better, instilling Buddhist values in their community would have been more beneficial overall.

The community would be more kind, responsible, caring and well rounded. There would also be less social problems. That is why, it is important to use social media platforms to educate the masses. This is the only effective method to reach out faster with no costs.

pgdharma

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 07:18:48 AM »
It is sad to hear that such a holy Buddhist temple was destroyed due to greed. Not only is the 100 year old Buddhist temple a heritage, it is a place of worship for many and home to the two elderly nuns. The destruction of the temple is an indication of degeneration of spirituality.

dondrup

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 01:25:47 PM »
A look at the Cultural Revolution in the past is enough to convince us that preserving temples is not the Chinese government's priorities.  It is thus not surprising that the local government is not concerned about preserving the temple despite its significance in the history of Chinese Buddhism. Also there is no proper enforcement of the Chinese Law which protects these religious temples.

No one can stop the forces of impermanence. Ruiyun Temple is no exception either! We can only hope  that China will really preserve its cultural and religious heritage before they are lost forever!

Midakpa

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 02:08:44 PM »
It is such a pity that this beautiful temple was demolished for whatever reasons. It should have been preserved and opened to the public. I'm sure many tourists would be attracted to the beautiful scenery and would also want to visit this historical temple. Even if the authorities had wished to develop this area into a tourist attraction, the temple could have been saved and be made part of the attraction. And the treatment of the old nuns was deplorable!

RedLantern

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 02:35:21 PM »
Another example of carelessness towards cultural heritage,history destroyed!
A hundred year-old temple,having withstand the war against the Japanese,the civil war, and the Republic period,is now forcibly demolished in this harmonious society?
Disposing history,culture,memories and religion.It is a cruel way of treating the ancient temple and the old abbots like this.Am truly saddened by this way of demolishing such a beautiful religious temple.

Jessie Fong

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 12:37:52 AM »

Demolished to make way for real estate?

I can see from the pictures that Bambi posted, it is a rather mountainous site.  Granted modern technology that the place will be properly developed, would it not be a tourist draw if they had kept the temple intact?  Business-wise, develop that area; tourism-wise, the temple will draw people to that place.  That equates to tourist dollars.


eyesoftara

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2013, 06:43:05 AM »
It is simply money over religion and culture. For the sake or development everything can be compromised. This is samsara and this is the attitude of the world majority. I like the attitude of the nun who keep up her prayers at the temple up to 20 minutes before the forces demolition. This to me is the message for all of us. Keep up your faith. Ask ourselves, where is the real "temple"?

WisdomBeing

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Re: 100-year-old Buddhist temple was force-demolished in Fuzhou, China
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 05:31:21 PM »
As many above have mentioned, this is a sign of degeneration where people are more focused on materialism than dharma. The state government placed less importance on reviving Buddhism in the temple because if he had known better, instilling Buddhist values in their community would have been more beneficial overall.

The community would be more kind, responsible, caring and well rounded. There would also be less social problems. That is why, it is important to use social media platforms to educate the masses. This is the only effective method to reach out faster with no costs.

Social media is the force that the Chinese government is most afraid of, hence the ridiculously strict censorship of the internet! Nothing is really 'live' and i am sure there is literally an army of Chinese supervising the internet activity in China.

Change is inevitable though and the youth of China will eventually have their say. If such temples are important to the people, they will be preserved. However, they can only be important through education as Klein mentioned.
Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being