Murderous Monks & Silent Sanghas

Author: Theo Horesh

Editor:  Travis May

Perhaps the most surprising thing about these mobs is that they are spurred on by monks. The Buddhist sangha, or community of monks, is sharply divided over these persecutions.

But as the democratization process exposes the inner fault lines of Burmese society, these same monks are increasingly turning to nationalism.

Buddhist teachers outside of Burma have spoken out against this violence. A letter signed by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama, among others, urged the Burmese sangha to abide by Buddhist teachings of nonviolence. Another signed by 381 American Buddhist teachers, urged President Obama to raise the issue, which he did, in his recent trip to Burma.

But the murderous monks of Burma seem far more active than the silent sanghas of the world. Buddhists have long remained immune to the withering criticism of religion that is often expounded upon by a new breed of atheists. It would be a shame to see them direct their bitterness at Buddhists for all the right reasons. While Burma has a sizable population of 53 million people, few people outside of the region know much about what is happening there. Theravadan Buddhists could do much to expose this issue and pressure the monks and government. Most have instead sat silently—not even observing the suffering.

READ ALL HERE @ the source: Murderous Monks & Silent Sanghas.

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