Tibetan Buddhism among minority groups

Tibetan Buddhism among minority groups
Tibetan Buddhism is the esoteric or Tantric form of Buddhism which became prominent in India in the seventh century and spread quickly to Tibet. Other than the Tibetans, followers of Tibetan Buddhism are still found among such ethnic groups as the Mongols, the Tu of Qinghai, the Yugurs of Gansu, and the Moinba of Tibet. Many Chinese know this religion as ‘lamaism’ (lamajiao). The Cultural Revolution attempted to destroy the immense power of Buddhism, including the many monasteries. However, the religion has revived since the early 1980s, and the great majority of Tibetans are still dedicated followers of Tibetan Buddhism, though it is much weaker among the Mongolians. Quite a few Tibetan boys have again entered the monastic life, though not nearly as many as before 1950.
An official count in 2000 gave a figure of 46,000 monks and lamas in the Tibet Autonomous Region. CCP authorities control all religious activities, but watch those associated with Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet with special care because of its association with Tibetan separatism, and suppress all signs of subversion. Some of Tibet’s major political controversies since 1990 have involved the religion. In selecting the Eleventh Panchen Lama in 1995, the Chinese authorities conflicted with the Dalai Lama’s choice. And in 1999, the highly influential Karmapa Lama fled to India and was given refugee status in 2001, to China’s embarrassment.
Goldstein, M.C. and Kapstein, M.T. (eds) (1998). Buddhism in Contemporary Tibet, Religious Revival and Cultural Identity, Berkeley: University of California Press.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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