A high-ranking Chinese monk, who is also a political adviser to the government and a member of the Communist Party, has been accused of sexually harassing nuns, reported AFP. Master Xuecheng of the Beijing Longquan Monastery has denied the allegations, and has received support from the monastery as well.
In one of the most high-profile cases of the #MeToo movement in China, the allegations were made public when a 95-page document written by two former monks was leaked online earlier this week. The detailed report was sent to government officials. It also said that one of the nuns had filed a police complaint against Xuecheng in June, reported BBC.
One of the monks, Xianqi, told BBC that he co-wrote the report but that he had “no idea” how it got leaked.
“Xuecheng manipulated disciples to serve his ‘Buddhist Empire’... disciples under his control sacrificed their precious practices of Buddhist doctrines,” the document said. The monks accused Xuecheng of sending illicit text messages to at least six women, tempting or threatening them to have sex with him. The report said that four nuns gave in to Xuecheng’s demands, and that he tried to assert “mind control” by claiming sex was a part of their Buddhist studies.
In a statement posted on Weibo, the temple said it would call for a probe team to investigate the matter. However, it said that the evidence against Xuecheng was fabricated and had “illegal intentions to maliciously frame” him, reported BBC.
“This incident has its roots in revenge, an operation motivated by malice,” said the temple. “Beijing Longquan Monastery calls on the government and religious affairs authorities to form an investigative team to look into the matter.”
Xeucheng is a popular public figure in China. He is the youngest person to head the Buddhist Association of China, and has more than a million followers on Weibo.