Religious persecution in Tibet is not simply a matter of ethnic or religious conflict or even of discrimination by a majority against its minorities. Religious persecution in Tibet is a politically motivated and consciously constructed policy implemented with the idea that it might be possible to obliterate the distinctive characteristics of Tibetan culture and civilization in order to absorb Tibet into China.
What you can do to promote religious freedom in Tibet
The Canada Tibet Committee is directing its appeals for support to the Government of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion, and to various faith communities in Canada.
The Canada Tibet Committee will keep you informed about events in Tibet via its website, facebook pages, and twitter feed. When religious freedom is at risk in Tibet, please join our appeals for international support by taking the following actions:
- Write letters of concern and outrage to your local newspapers;
- Meet with your Member of Parliament and ask that s/he express concern directly to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs;
- Reach out to your faith community and request its public support.
What are the issues?
- Denigration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama;
- Interference in the transmission of religious learning and selection of religious leaders;
- Regulatory restrictions on the management of monastic institutions;
- Refusal to cooperate with any international mechanism.
What are the solutions?
Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom should make public statements about denial of religious freedoms in Tibet. The Office should make efforts to accurately document violations of religious freedom in Tibet and raise concerns whenever it meets with Chinese counterparts. The Office should promote interfaith dialogue between Tibetan Buddhist leaders and the leaders of various faith communities in Canada. In collaboration with Canadian Mission in Geneva, the Office should monitor China’s compliance with outcome commitment made by China during its 2013 Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Religion should press China for immediate approval of a country mission as per his longstanding request. The Rapporteur’s mission must include a site visit to Tibet to investigate reports about the denial of religious freedom including the activities of Management Control Committees in religious institutions. The Rapporteur should ascertain the safety and well-being of the 12th Panchen Lama, Gendhun Choekey Nyima, who has been held by Chinese authorities since May 1995.
Faith Communities in Canada should invite representatives of the Canada Tibet Committee or Tibetan community associations to give presentations to their members about the denial of religious freedom in Tibet. Whenever possible, faith communities in Canada should make public statements in support of religious freedom in Tibet. Faith communities should launch solidarity campaigns in defence of religious leaders in Tibet who have been imprisoned or otherwise harmed because of their religious beliefs.
- China’s 2nd cycle Universal Periodic Review: Recommendations for the Government of Canada, Canada Tibet Committee, 2013
- Chinese Crackdown on Tibetan Buddhism, Federation internationale des droits humains (FIDH) and International Campaign for Tibet, 2013
- Canada Tibet Committee appeals for government action to secure release of Tibet’s Panchen Lama, Canada Tibet Committee, 2012
- Religious Repression in Tibet, Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, 2012
- Religious Intolerance & Persecution in Tibet, Prof. Ronald Schwartz for the Canada Tibet Committee, 1999
- Dalai Lama’s teaching on Compassion - “Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara Initiation”, Montreal, June 1993, Canada Tibet Committee