China loots Buddhist temple, steals $3 million raised in US

It’s like those stories we read about Chinese AIDS orphanages that raise lots of money being plundered by local CCP officials and the kids carted off to God knows where. Only this one strikes closer to home, as the money was raised in the US.

It was supposed to be a heartfelt cultural exchange between Chinese and Americans, a $3-million gift from followers of a Buddhist group in Los Angeles to repair a centuries-old temple in China. The site, reportedly built during the rule of Kublai Khan eight centuries ago, was desecrated during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution and was badly in need of help.

After months of renovation, invitations were printed up for the grand reopening of the Dari Rulai Xingyuan Temple in Inner Mongolia. Three hundred Buddhists from China, Japan, the United States

Suddenly everything went wrong, followers said Thursday. In the days leading up to the party scheduled for last Saturday, police, firefighters, undercover detectives and army troops broke down temple doors, arrested the church’s spiritual leader on charges of “inciting superstition,” carted away two truckloads of precious artifacts and closed the temple, citing “structural danger.”

“They invited us in, said, ‘You did a beautiful job,’ took our money then kicked us out,” said Robert Stubblefield, vice abbot of the City of Industry-based Dari Rulai Temple, who had stayed at the Kulun temple for eight months. “This has been a huge shock to everyone.”

Followers of the 1,400-year-old Hanmi Buddhist sect say that all the necessary permits were approved and that their members were warmly embraced by Kulun officials keen to boost tourism and the local economy.

Somehow this is okay, just business as usual. There’s no one to complain to and no one’s accountable. Oh well.

Link via Cosmic Iguana.

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