February 26, 2013
Is China Hoping Christian Missionaries Will Help It Break Tibet's Buddhism?
(UPDATED) British paper finds greater toleration of missionaries as Tibetan self-immolations continue.
Update (Mar. 8): Time magazine also takes a look at Christian missionary effects in Tibet.
Amid the Chinese government's attempts to stop the growth of Tibetan Buddhism—which have provoked more than 100 suicides by self-immolation in recent years—Christian missionaries seem to be gaining new ground.
According to the BBC, the Chinese government has been intent on wiping out Buddhism in Tibet since the region was taken over by China. Buddhism's deep roots, along with government restrictions on evangelism, have meant Christian missionary efforts in Tibet traditionally haven't been fruitful.
But the Guardian has an interesting report suggesting the Chinese government is so set on "dismantling" Tibetan Buddhism that it is becoming "selectively tolerant of Christian missionaries, seeing them as a counterforce to Buddhists."
CT has covered Tibet (including a Christian missionary who recently won a rare police settlement), China, and Buddhism, including a cover story on how more Christians are attracted to the Dalai Lama's teachings.