On Monday, October 7 the U.S. Department of State released its annual report on International Religious Freedom. The report states that “the level of religious repression in Tibet remained high, and the Government’s record of respect for religious freedom remained poor.”

When releasing the report, Secretary of State Colin Powell said that U.S. officials “categorically reject the notion that the security or stability of any country requires the repression of members of any faith.”

Tibet-related passages

On suppressing dissent in Tibet:

“Although the authorities permit many traditional religious practices and public manifestations of belief, they promptly and forcibly suppress those activities viewed as vehicles for political dissent, such as religious activities that are perceived as advocating Tibetan independence or any form of separatism (which the Chinese Government views as “splittist”).”

On “patriotic education”:

“Although the “patriotic education” campaign begun in the mid-1990’s officially has concluded, patriotic education activities continued at a lower level of intensity. Core requirements of “patriotic education,” such as the renunciation of the Dalai Lama and the acceptance of Tibet as a part of China, continue and engender resentment on the part of Tibetan Buddhists.

Many monks and nuns continue to serve prison terms for their resistance to “patriotic education.” There were reports of the death of religious prisoners, as well as the imprisonment and abuse or torture of monks and nuns accused of political activism.”

On the Panchen Lama:

“The actual location of Gendun Choekyi Nyima and his family remains unknown. All requests from the international community for access to the boy to confirm his whereabouts and his well being have been refused.”

Click here for the section of the report on the Tibet Autonomous Region »

You can find the full text of the report here »