Taiwan police draw criticism for promoting Buddhism in uniform

Officers at Central Police University cause controversy over religious dance video distributed on social media

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Law enforcement officers dance in religious video. (Youtube screenshot)

Law enforcement officers dance in religious video. (Youtube screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A group of Taiwanese law enforcement officers has drawn criticism from the public after dancing in uniform in a promotional video for a Buddhist humanitarian organization.

A recent video released by the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation has been widely spread across social media. In the clip, more than 20 Taiwanese police officers and firefighters dance in formation while chanting Buddhist scriptures.

The video was intended to attract new members to the organization and advocate for Buddhism, but it stirred controversy due to the fact that the officers wore their uniforms for such an occasion. The man leading the dance was identified by netizens as Officer Hsu Kuo-huang (徐國晃) of Central Police University (CPU).

CPU pointed out Thursday (Nov. 28) that the behavior of Hsu and the other officers involved was inappropriate and left a negative impact on the image of police in Taiwan. The institution said that Hsu has been admonished and claimed it would educate its officers about dressing in uniform on sensitive occasions", reported ETtoday.

The National Police Agency (NPA) told the press that wearing uniforms at religious assemblies was legal and that the religious freedom of all law enforcement personnel should be respected. However, it also advised police to be more cautious about associating themselves with a particular religion, reported Liberty Times.