More temples were recently shut down in Hubei even though they had their permits and documents in order.
In Hubei’s Xianning city, Chinese authorities shut down six Buddhist temples in May. They claimed to be following orders from “above” for “clean-up and rectification”. Every place of worship is being investigated in Hubei and at risk of a shut down.
The Huiquan Nunnery was built during the reign of Guo Wei, founder of the Later Zhou dynasty of China’s Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period during the 10th century.
Officials showed up at the temple on May 23, seeking to shut it down. They claimed that the temple did not have proper documentation but were proven wrong by the temple administration, which furnished the required documents immediately.
The officials then claimed that the temple had to be shut down because its “Bodhisattva placement” was not in accordance with regulations. Lack of residential teaching personnel was also cited as a reason for a shut down. The temple in-charge, Mr. Yang, said that the temple’s nun was temporarily away for medical treatment and that the temple was currently inhabited by other believers.
The officials would have none of it and said, “Temples in Tongshan county have been demolished as well. Your temple cannot remain open.”
They went away that day. Later, when the nun returned and visited the officials with more documents, she was told that the temple did not meet even one of the nine listed provisions. She sought to apply for new credentials but was told that those couldn’t be acquired within the next two years. The temple was thus closed.
Meanwhile, the Yiyuan temple was shut down because “state regulations now prohibit building of small temples”. The authorities also claimed that the temple’s dilapidated state was also a reason. The Bodhisattva was removed as well. The documentation proved to be irrelevant here as well.
As per sources, the Guanyin, Sanfo, and Dongkeng temples in the city have been shut down on similar grounds.
Reported by Shen Xiang