China has long disallowed religious freedom.The government is the one that the people should look to as their leader, their helper, their hero. In recent decades, the Tibetan region of China has suffered greatly from this situation. It is a predominately Buddhist region, and was home to the Dalai Lama, who is the religious authority of that sect of Buddhism. The government viewed the Dalai Lama as a threat to their own authority, and he and many Buddhists were exiled.

The oppression continues. The government is demolishing homes in the Larung Gar region–and deporting their people– hoping to reduce the population by 5,000 by next year. It does this saying that the area is overpopulated, but residents and outsiders alike recognize that the government simply wants to reduce the power of this region. Centers of strength threaten the government’s hold over its people, and by demolishing homes and evicting people, the government can hold control more easily.

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(Larung Gar)

I’ve often heard people explain that China is opening up and loosening restrictions. Is this true? Or is it staying the same, or are things heading back downhill? Stories like this keep appearing on the news, and it makes me wonder what the future of these religious groups and ethnic minorities in China will be.