Official certificates for Buddhist and Taoist temples to distinguish real temples from fake ones.

Temple of Great Charity (Guangji Temple)

Temple of Great Charity (Guangji Temple)

When visiting a temple, be aware that you have also fake temples! In order to give  followers the possibility to distinguish  real temples from fake ones,  the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) will deliver certificates to Buddhist and Taoist temples.

In Beijing, the Guangji Temple and Fire God Temple were among the first to receive the certificates. Religious sites can display the certificate: the believers will be protected from illegal fund-raising.

Indeed, fake monks are nothing new in China :  some non-religious sites are employing fake monks who are tricking tourists into donating money or buying expensive incenses. Impostors in rural areas often cheat money or go unchecked.

In 2013, two “temples” have been closed in Mount Wutai,  a sacred Buddhist mountain in North China’s Shanxi Province, after an important affair was clarified.

China is counts about 33,000 Buddhist temples and more than 9,000 Taoist temples. As often, religion is used to get money from believers; Chinese authorities are taking a step to ban profit religious activities.


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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!