Govt against listing temples on stock market
Updated: 2012-06-06 07:08
SHANGHAI - China's State Administration for Religious Affairs is against plans to list temples on the stock markets by some local governments, a top official said Tuesday.
Listing the temples on the stock exchanges harms the legal rights and damages the image of the religious community. It also harms the feelings of the believers, said Liu Wei, a deputy department director of the administration.
Temples are the sites for believers to carry out religious activities and are non-profit organizations. There is no precedent in the world to list the temples on the stock market, Liu said at a meeting in Shanghai.
Developing the economy should have its limits and should not cross the moral lines, he said.
Many of Chinese Buddhist and Tao temples have long been tourist sites and sources of revenues for local governments, which have a strong desire to make the temples more attractive and more lucrative. Listing in Shanghai or Hong Kong is a natural choice for them.
Famen Temple, dubbed as the ancestor of pagoda temples in northwest China's Shaanxi province, was expected to be listed in Hong Kong in 2013. The Baoji municipal government postponed the plan at the end of April as the second phase of the expansion project had not started construction.
Shaolin Temple, China's most famous Buddhist temple in central Henan province, was also pushed to be listed on the stock market at the end of 2009 to attract more investment and tourists. The plan was aborted due to pressure from the Buddhist abbot Shi Yongxin and religious authorities.
China currently has about 139,000 religious sites. Of them 33,000 are Buddhist temples, 9,000 Tao temples, 35,000 mosques, 6,000 Catholic churches and 56,000 Christian churches.
- Relief reaches isolated village
- Rainfall poses new threats to quake-hit region
- Funerals begin for Boston bombing victims
- Quake takeaway from China's Air Force
- Obama celebrates young inventors at science fair
- Earth Day marked around the world
- Volunteer team helping students find sense of normalcy
- Ethnic groups quick to join rescue efforts
Supplies pour into isolated villages
All-out efforts to save lives
Industry savior: Big boys' toys
Liaoning: China's oceangoing giant
Today's Top News
Health new priority for quake zone
Xi meets US top military officer
Japan's boats driven out of Diaoyu
China mulls online shopping legislation
Bird flu death toll rises to 22
Putin appoints new ambassador to China
Japanese ships blocked from Diaoyu Islands
Inspired by Guan, more Chinese pick up golf