China probes Buddhist monk accused of coercing nuns into sex

Lester Mason
August 3, 2018

Beijing Longquan Monastery calls on the government and religious affairs authorities to form an investigative team to look into the matter'. Shi Yongxin, abbot of the Shaolin Temple renowned for its fighting monks, was accused by subordinates in 2015 of keeping mistresses and embezzling monastery funds while he jet-setted around the world seeking sponsorship and real estate deals for the 1500-year old cradle of kung fu.

The 95-page document, which was leaked online, also said one of the nuns had filed a police report in June alleging Xuecheng had sexually assaulted her. Buddhism requires its monks and nuns to practise celibacy.

Xeucheng is a popular public figure in China. However, it said that the evidence against Xuecheng was fabricated and had "illegal intentions to maliciously frame" him, reported BBC.

The monastery, in its statement, acknowledged that the document was prepared by the two former monks and that it reserved the right to take legal action against them.

He is the head of the Buddhist Association of China, the youngest person to ever hold the position, and a political advisor to the government.

VCG via Getty Images A general view of the Longquan Temple is seen on February 17, 2017 in Beijing, China. "Xuecheng manipulated disciples to serve his 'Buddhist empire'".

"Xuecheng was taken for questioning by relevant authorities days ago before being released", the newspaper reported, quoting an anonymous source.

He posted pictures of a national flag-raising ceremony on social media on Wednesday, vowing to carry forward the Communist Party's campaign to infuse patriotism in religion.

Included in the document were extensive details and screenshots of explicit text messages allegedly sent by Xuecheng, including claims to nuns that they could be "purified" through the physical contact and that sex was part of their study of religious doctrines.

The global #MeToo movement was triggered by accusations by dozens of women against United States film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including rape, triggering a wider scandal that has roiled Hollywood and beyond.

Abbot Xuecheng is the latest figure to be been accused of sexual misconduct.

"However, the temple said the two whistleblowers have "forged materials, distorted facts and spread false information" that misled the public", the Global Times tabloid reported.

In January, a USA -based academic accused her PhD professor of sexually assaulting her.

Since then, a veteran journalist, the founder of a prominent charity and another academic have figured among the accused public figures.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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