As part of the nationwide campaign, the Wuhan city authorities in Hubei Province demolished a 36-meter-tall Guanyin statue in October. The demolition of Buddhist sites is not only an assault on religious liberties but also on the lives of locals who work there.
Bitter Winter has previously reported about numerous Buddhist temples in Hubei Province being demolished and shut down. Recently, the authorities also closed down two highly revered temples in Huangshi city – Dragon King Temple and Dragon Spring Temple.
Multiple internal documents confirm now that the crackdown on Buddhist temples and the demolition of outdoor Buddha statues taking place across the country is a nationwide policy. Several tourist areas in Henan and Shaanxi have already born the brunt of it as the local Buddha statues have been torn down across entire regions.
The Communist Party’s campaign disguised as the policy to regulate the “commercialization” of Buddhist and Taoist sites is carried out not only in complete disregard to believers, but it also affects the livelihood of local people who work there.
Since temples and Buddha statues attract large numbers of pilgrims and tourists, this creates a stable income for them to support their families. Recently, a video went viral that showed residents of a scenic location in China seeking work. However, the authorities continue to turn a deaf ear to these concerns.
While countless Buddhist statues have been demolished in recent months, the Guanyin statue in Hubei was perhaps the costliest one so far. Installed at the Santai Mountain Temple Tourist Area in Wuhan city’s Huangpi district, the gold-plated statue was found cut in pieces in late October. It had cost nearly ten million RMB or 1,500,000 USD to build.
An informed source revealed, “Including the base, the statue was originally 36 meters tall. It was a part of a tourist area that included hotels and restaurants nearby. The project cost was nearly 200 million RMB, and now that the statue has been destroyed, it will dampen tourism here and affect the entire area.”
Remnants of the Guanyin statue are scattered all over the ground:
Reported by Shen Xiang