China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs is investigating Xuecheng, the abbot of Longquan Temple in Beijing after documents surfaced claiming that the high-ranking Buddhist monk coerced nuns into having sex.
The sexual misconduct allegation was outlined in a 95-page document prepared by two former monks at the monastery and posted on social media platform Weibo, according to Reuters via South China Morning Post.
The document reveals details about the high-ranking Buddhist monk, who is also the head of the Buddhist Association of China and is a member of the Communist Party’s top political advisory body, sending explicit messages to nuns and claiming that they could get “purified” through physical contact.
Sex was also supposedly part of their study of Buddhist doctrines as a way of “controlling their minds,” according to BBC. Four of the six nuns reportedly gave in to the abbot’s request.
Xuecheng has denied the accusations in a statement the temple posted on Weibo on Wednesday, saying that the allegations stemmed from “fabricated material” and “distorted facts.” The monastery also stated that it reserves the right to take legal action against the two monks who prepared the documents.
The country’s State Administration for Religious Affairs is now treating the case as a matter of “high importance,” while the Chinese Buddhist Association has yet to release any comments regarding the allegations against Xuecheng.
Aside from the sexual misconduct allegations, Xuecheng is also being accused of having financial problems and illegally expanding the construction scale of the temple, China Daily reported.