Radio France Internationale reported that the head of China’s Buddhist Association resigned on August 15 after his female disciples lodged allegations of sexual harassment against him. As a Communist Party member and head monk of Longquan Temple in Beijing, Shi Xuecheng has been accused of sexual misconduct against at least six female disciples. A 95 page long document shows the text messages and online chat records of his improper exchanges with the female disciples. China’s Buddhist Association said it will launch an investigation into the allegations. Shi is a member of the National Political Consultative Committee and has several million devoted Buddhist believers who follow him on WeChat. According to an Aboluowang article, Shi has close connections with high ranking officials, while the United Front Department manages him. After the sexual allegation scandal was exposed, any online postings containing words such as “Longquan Temple” or “Shi Xuecheng” disappeared from Sina Weibo. All that is left is Shi’s denial statement. An Epoch Times article quoted reports from an August 16 article in Hong Kong’s Sing Tao Daily which stated that the sex scandal had been brought to Xi Jinping’s attention. The Party’s United Front Department got involved in the investigation and ordered Shi to resign immediately to limit the negative publicity.
1. Radio France Internationale, August 15, 2018
2. Aboluowang, August 15, 2018
3. Epoch Times, August 18, 2018