Chinese communist Party in Wolong Township organised the signing of a pledge for party members to sign "Party members and cadres do not believe in religion", on january 22, 2024. (Photo: TPI)

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Dharamshala – Chinese authorities in Wolong Township, Wenchuan County, eastern Tibet, forced Tibetan officials to sign a pledge: "not to believe in religion, not to participate in religious activities, never to promote or spread religion anywhere and always to listen to the Chinese Communist Party, be grateful to the Party, follow the Party".

According to the source, on January 22, 2024, the Chinese authorities in Wolong Township, of Chinese divided-Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, eastern Tibet, organised the signing of a pledge for party members and cadres to sign "Party members and cadres do not believe in religion".

The source explained that "the organisation of party members and cadres has signed the pledge 'party members and cadres do not believe in religion, and must express their determination not to believe in religion, not to participate in religious activities, never to promote and disseminate religion anywhere, and always to listen unwaveringly to the party (CCP), to be grateful to the party, to follow the party'".

Most of them are Tibetan officials who believe in religion and their parents practice religious activities in their homes on a daily basis, even if it is in secret. Because the Chinese government does not allow Tibetans to practice religion and have faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama, even though he is the most beloved and respected, and their spiritual leader, if the authorities have anything like photos and books of His Holiness in their phones or in their homes, they will be arrested, subjected to torture and imprisoned. The Chinese government cannot control every heart that has faith in His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but it can control Tibetan officials, over whom it has direct power, and so it forces them to sign the book or document of commitment.

Tibetan officials are not allowed to practice religion, nor are their children allowed to go to monasteries and study Buddhism, even though it is their religion. The Chinese government wants Tibetans to be cut off from their secular religion, the lamas, the monks and their beloved spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. If the Chinese authorities find out that Tibetan officials and their children are attending monasteries and practicing religion, they will remove them from their jobs and positions and, even worse, put them in jail. That's why they have to unwillingly sign the "pledge book for party members and cadres do not believe in religion".

According to former Tibetan officials under Chinese authorities, they suffered a lot, they had to endure unfair treatment and threats from the Chinese authorities, but the most important thing is that they have to face their Tibetan brothers and sisters, even if they don't want to in their heart of hearts. That's why, for them, work is a means of survival, but it weighs heavily on their hearts, and some of them are trying to retire as soon as possible, because they no longer need to face such situations.

The source said that the Chinese Communist party forced Tibetan officials and cadres to sign the pledge; “party members and cadres not to believe in religion”, to express their determination not to believe in religion, not to participate in religious activities, never to promote and spread religion anywhere, and always to listen to the party, be grateful to the party and follow the party.