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China Now Regulates Reincarnation

Posted Aug 3, 2007 4:29 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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As of Sept. 1, Tibet's exiled god-king, the Dalai Lama, may no longer reincarnate himself—or recognize the reincarnation of others—without permission from China's communist, atheist government.

That is one key provision of new regulations developed by China's State Administration for Religious Affairs, in an effort to limit the influence of the revered 72-year-old Buddhist monk and, at least potentially, his religion, reports the London Times.

"The ban is included in new rules intended to assert Beijing’s authority over Tibet’s restive and deeply Buddhist people," the newspaper reports. If the regulations are successful in preventing the recognition of so-called living Buddhas, who often hold important leadership roles, they could be "a possible death knell to a mystical system that dates back at least as far as the 12th century," the Times says.

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