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High-Profile Chinese Monk Accused of Coercing Nuns Into Sex

The monk in question is currently the abbot of Longquan Monastery and the head of the Buddhist Association in China.

A 95-page report compiled by two monks, Shi Xianjia and Shi Xianqi, accusing the abbot of Longquan Temple Shi Xuecheng of sexually harassing several nuns recently surfaced on Chinese's social media, China Daily reports. Xuecheng is also an influential public figure with more than one million followers on Weibo.

The document consists of testimonial accounts from the nuns that had allegedly been coerced into having sex with Xuecheng and numerous screenshots of explicit text messages allegedly sent by the abbot, some of which claimed that physical contact can "purify" the nuns and that sex is part of their religious doctrines study.

The report also claims that Xuecheng was responsible for embezzling US$1.5 million. According to Xianqi, he and Xianjia have been subsequently expelled from the monastery.

“The monks have been controlled for too long to be able to self-cleanse, self-discipline,” Xianqi told the Associated Press. “We did this to stop more bhikkhuni (nuns) from being hurt, so we asked the government for help.”

Not long after the allegations surfaced, Xuecheng, under the monastery name, released a statement on Weibo saying that the claims are "forged materials, distorted facts, and false accusations." The monastery also confirmed that the report was compiled by its two former monks and that it has the right to take legal action against them.

On Thursday, August 21, the Chinese State Administration of Religious Affairs said that it has started an investigation into the allegations. 

[Photo via NBC News]

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