TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As part of its efforts to subjugate religion in China, photos have surfaced showing the Communist Chinese government defacing, walling up, and tearing down Buddhist statues across the country.
According to the report by Bitter Winter, the Dahebei Ecological Garden Cemetery in Liaoning Province's Tieling County was forced to give a "facelift" to its Guanyin statue or have its face dismantled. Over the course of three months, the heads of the "Four-Faced Guanyin" were modified to look like petals of a bizarre lotus flower.
"Four-Faced Guanyin" before alternation (left), the new "lotus flower" (right). (Bitter Winter photo)
A 10-meter statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva in Tieling County's Junlongquan Cemetery has now been obscured with two layers. It was initially covered over with galvanized iron sheets with the The Twenty-four Filial Exemplars inscribed on them. However, communist officials felt this was not enough and the statue has now been entombed in a faint vertical sarcophagus made of marble slabs, according to Bitter Winter.
On June 20, in the Cangshan Scenic Area of Shanxi Province's Yangquan City, the local government surrounded a 16-meter-high Guanyin statue with scaffolding under the guise of carrying out "renovations." However, the entire statue was completely dismantled using a crane, and a staff member told Bitter Winter that "The government claimed that tourist areas aren’t the places for worshipping Buddha, no Bodhisattva statues are allowed there."
Scaffolding placed around Guanyin statue (left), before being dismantled (right). (Bitter Winter photo)
In May, the United Front Work Department of Datong city in Shanxi Province's Lingqiu County posted a "rectification" list that ordered a crackdown on outdoor statues. In June, a 15-meter Bodhisattva statue located in the county's Xuanlong Temple was torn down, according to the report.
During the dismantling, the temple's octogenarian abbot tried several times to physically block the workers from tearing down the deity, but government workers hauled him away. A source told Bitter Winter that despite the fact that the temple's abbot had promised that followers would obey the government's "four requirements" policy, the temple was still subjected to the clampdown.
Guanyin statue in Xuanlong Temple before dismantlement (left) and after (right). (Bitter Winter photo)
In Shandong Province, a 30-meter-tall "Thousand-Hand Guanyin" statue built at the cost of 400,000 Chinese yuan barely stood for two months in the Dengshan Scenic Area in Lanshan district of Rizhao City. Then, it was completely razed to the ground by the government while the scenic area was "closed for renovations."
Over the same period at the Mount Tiantai Scenic Area in the Donggang district of Rizhao City, a Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva statue was disassembled and covered in branches.
Disassembled Bodhisattva statue covered with branches. (Bitter Winter Photo)
In March of this year, a video surfaced of a 57.9-meter-tall Buddhist statue of Guanyin blasted into smithereens near the Huang'an Temple in the Wuwushui Ecological Scenic Area. Before being destroyed by Communist officials, the statue, which was carved out of a cliff, held the distinction of being the tallest carved statue of Guanyin in the world.