Xuecheng (学诚法师; born 3 October 1966) is a Buddhist monk, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and a popular blogger. He serves as abbot of Guanghua Temple (Putian), Famen Temple (Fufeng, Shaanxi), and Beijing Longquan Monastery. In 2007 he was elected secretary general of the Buddhist Association of China, taking over the presidency of this organisation in 2015. He is the youngest monastic ever to ascend to the position.

Xuecheng was born as Fu Ruilin (Chinese: 傅瑞林), the eldest of three sons on October 3, 1966, to a family of strong Buddhist culture in Luofeng village of Laidian Town, Xianyou County, Fujian Province. His grandmother was a Buddhist practitioner and later became a nun. His mother was a devoted Buddhist in addition. His father worked as an accountant and office clerk in the village.

Influenced by his mother and grandmother, at age 10, Xuecheng voluntarily became a vegetarian, and began to chant Buddhist scriptures at age of 12.

In 1982, at the age of 16, Master Xuecheng started his monastic life and received teachings from masters such as Ven. Master Dinghai, and Most Ven. Yuanzhuo. He graduated from the Buddhist Academy of China in 1991 with a master’s degree.

China Buddhist leader Xuecheng accused of coercing nuns into sex

The president of the Buddhist Association of China is also a government adviser who has more than 1 million followers on the Weibo social network.

China’s burgeoning #MeToo movement saw its most explosive allegations yet this week after one of the country’s top Buddhist monks was accused of using his position to threaten and coerce nuns into having sex with him.

Abbot Xuecheng and his temple have vehemently denied accusations that he sent explicit text messages and used “mind control” over his disciples.

Xuecheng and the Longquan Temple, where he is based in Beijing, said the whistleblowers who reported the allegations had “forged materials, distorted the facts, disseminated false reports and framed the eminent Buddhist monk.”

Xuecheng, 51, is president of the Buddhist Association of China and an adviser to the government. He has more than 1 million followers on China’s Twitter-like Weibo social network.

Like most Buddhist monks he has taken a vow of celibacy.

The allegations came to light after one of the nuns allegedly showed some of the text messages to two monks from the temple. The monks, Shi Xianjia and Shi Xianqi, subsequently compiled a 95-page report and sent it to government officials. It was widely circulated online Wednesday.

“He uses text messages to tease and induce the sexual desire of the female disciples, make them depend on him and then control them”

China’s State Administration of Religious Affairs issued a statement Thursday saying it was “highly concerned” and had launched an investigation.

The report also made the pages of China’s state-run Global Times newspaper.

The allegations say that Xuecheng sent explicit text messages to at least six nuns and persuaded four of them to have sex with him. One of the nuns told police last month that she was among “many nuns” sexually assaulted by their spiritual leader, the report says.

“He uses text messages to tease and induce the sexual desire of the female disciples, make them depend on him and then control them,” it added.

The report accused Xuecheng of “borrowing” tactics from “cult organizations,” including “mind control … to bring out the sexual desire which was originally restrained by morals or discipline.” It said he also separated women from their family and friends and restricted their phone and internet access.

As well as his role as the head of the Buddhist Association of China, Xuecheng is a member of the National Political Consultative Conference, a government body that advises on major decisions.

The Longquan Temple where he is based was founded more than 1,000 years ago and has earned a reputation as a center for new technology. It reopened in 2005 decked out with fingerprint scanners, webcams and iPads for studying sutras.

Its most famous invention is the Robot Monk, which can follow instructions, read scriptures and play Buddhist music.

Xuecheng has earned a reputation as the modern founder of this tech temple, and the chief proponent of using modern technology to teach Buddhism.

NBC  News


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