World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Religion in Tibet

Article Id: WHEBN0023338399
Reproduction Date:

Title: Religion in Tibet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tibetan art, Central Tibetan Administration, Pre-Imperial Tibet, List of Tibetan names, Yolmo
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Religion in Tibet

The main religion of Tibet has been Buddhism since its outspread in the 8th century AD. Before the arrival of Buddhism the main religion here was an indigenous Shamanist religion, Bön which now comprises a sizeable minority and which would later influence the formation of Tibetan Buddhism.

There are four mosques in the Tibet Autonomous Region with approximately 4,000 to 5,000 Muslim adherents, as well as a Catholic church with 560 parishioners, which is located in the traditionally Catholic community of Yanjing in the eastern TAR.[1]

Buddhism

Buddhism came to Tibet from India in the 7th — 8th centuries A.D. and gradually, though not without difficulties, started to prevail in this region.[2] With the influence of the indigenous Bon religion, Tibetan Buddhism was formed.

There were over 6,000 monasteries in Tibet, and nearly all were ransacked and destroyed by the Chinese communists, mainly during the Cultural Revolution.[3] Most of the major ones have been at least partially re-established but many still remain in ruins.

Bön

Bön, the indigenous animist and shamanistic belief system of Tibet, revolves around the worship of nature and predates Buddhism.[1] Although Bön was initially the religion to which the Buddha teachings were antithetical, it now has come to be regarded as the fifth of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions.

Hinduism

Christianity

The letters of Timothy I, who was Patriarch of the Nestorian Church, dated as early as the beginning of the 9th century, is the oldest evidence of Christian missionaries in Tibet.[4] Recent historical research indicates the presence of some form of Christianity in as early as the 6th and 7th centuries in Tibet.

It is not known whether Odoric of Pordenone may have entered Tibet. Antonio de Andrade established a mission station in Tsaparang (Ladakh), but after he left the community of nearly 400 in 1630, Tibetan lamas destroyed the station in 1631.[5]

Work on Bible translations into Tibetan resulted in a Bible in Tibetan script in 1948, but this specific dialect is now understood by very few Tibetans, so new works are in progress. Scripture portions and evangelistic materials ranging from written tracts to the Jesus film and other video and audio CDs are now being distributed.[6]

Islam

There is a small Muslim population [1] scattered throughout Tibet, many of whom can be found in Lhasa and Shigatse.

Freedom of religion

The freedom of religion is virtually not guaranteed since Tibet is a part of the People's Republic of China which restrict the practice of religions. Although in the past there were reports of the deaths of monks and nuns due to maltreatment in prison, there were no known reports of deaths due to maltreatment in prison during the period covered by this report. Buddhist leaders such as Gendun Choekyi Nyima and Tenzin Delek remained in detention or prison.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. China: International Religious Freedom Report 2007.
  2. ^ Religiousbook.net
  3. ^ Firstbrook, Peter (20 March 2008). "Tibetan monks: A controlled life".  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Biographical dictionary of Christian missions - Page 22 Gerald H. Anderson - 1999 "In 1631. lamas opposed to the Tibetan Christian community (nearly 400 members) destroyed the mission station at Tsaparang."
  6. ^ Staff. "Tibetans: Asia’s people groups – the Tibetans of China". OMF International. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.