Top Chinese Buddhist monk accused of coercing nuns into sex fired

A prominent Buddhist monk in China with a social media following of millions has been removed as abbot of Beijing’s Longquan Monastery after being accused of coercing several nuns to have sex with him. 

The country’s top religious authority said on Thursday that Xuecheng, a Communist Party member and former head of the Buddhist Association of China, was sacked last week after it consulted a report by two former monks at the monastery.

He has been under criminal investigation since the two monks accused him of sexual and financial improprieties, including sending explicit text messages to at least six nuns and breaking national financial rules at the monastery.

The 95-page report by the two monks, which circulated online late last month, cited them as saying that at least four women gave in to Xuecheng’s threats and cajoling to have sex with him.

Xuecheng told the women it was a part of their Buddhist studies, the monks said according to the report.

Both men were asked to leave Longquan monastery after news of the report broke.

Xuecheng had stepped down as head of the Buddhist association earlier this month. He had been silent on China’s Twitter-like Weibo service since August 1, when he posted a statement rejecting the sexual assault claims.

Beijing’s Longquan Monastery has made headlines for combining Buddhism with modern technology, launching last year a two-foot-high robot monk that dispenses mantras and karmic advice.

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