Rare godman scandal in China

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From the Times of India. BEIJING - Communist China now seems to have picked up a cue from the trend of scandals involving godmen in India.

One person claiming to have the powers of bringing good fortune to his followers by practicing Taoist rituals has just ended up in jail. The man, Guo Zhenren, has been charged with online fraud as he used the Internet to seduce people to part with 800,000 yuan ($118,000).

This is a kind of setback to the Communist Party, which has been encouraging reforms into the ancient system of Taoism in recent years. The party played a key role last year in the election of the first female abbot in 1800 years of Chinese Taoism. Wu Chengzhen, the female abbot who now heads the Changchun Taoist Temple in Hubei, is also an important provincial leader of the party.

Two weeks back, Jia Qinglin, China’s top political advisor, told Taoists to contribute to social harmony. Jia, who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, advised the China Taoist Association to unite different sects and groups of Chinese Taoists so that they contribute to the efforts for establishing a developed and affluent society.

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