China has created what it calls an ‘online authentication database’ of so-called living Buddhas.
It’s widely regarded as a creative attempt by the Chinese authorities to exercise control over who it officially permits to be considered reincarnations of Tibetan lamas.
Officially, China says it’s all about preventing swindlers from getting money from the credulous.
The database includes the names, photos, religious names, monastic titles and other personal details of 870 verified “living Buddhas”.
The database is accessible on the website of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. A search for a “living Buddhas” can be conducted by birth name, religious name, temple, identity card number or “Living Buddha Card” number.
Users need to login to the database with their mobile number; only five searches per day are possible.
Picture source: Flickr