Leaked Documents Reveal How China Controls Muslim Minority Detention Centers

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Leaked Documents Reveal How China Controls Muslim Minority Detention Centers

Monday, 25 November, 2019 – 11:00
A Chinese police officer takes his position by the road near what is officially called a vocational education center in Yining in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China, Sept. 4, 2018. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Leaked government documents uncovered how China governs life in the network of internment camps in Xinjiang, where an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities are held.

Obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and published by 17 media outlets worldwide on Sunday, the documents show the strict protocols that controls life in the “vocational education centers” in the region, reported AFP.

The leak comes one week after The New York Times reported, based on more than 400 pages of internal papers it had obtained, that Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered officials to act with “absolutely no mercy” against separatism and extremism in a 2014 speech following a Uighur militant attack on a train station.

The latest leak consists of a list of guidelines for running the camps approved by Xinjiang’s security chief in 2017, along with intelligence briefings that show how police use data collection and artificial intelligence to select residents for detention.

Referring to detainees as students who must “graduate” from the camps, the guidelines lay out how staff should manage their day-to-day lives, such as by ensuring “timely haircuts and shaves”, while also emphasizing that detainees are barred from having cellphones, according to an English translation of the memo posted by ICIJ.

“Students… may not contact the outside world apart from during prescribed activities,” the memo reads, adding that staff should “strictly manage students requesting time off.”

If indeed the so-called students “really need to leave the training center due to illness or other special circumstances, they must have someone specially accompany, monitor and control them.”

The memo says inmates should be judged based on a points system that measures “ideological transformation, study and training, and compliance with discipline.”

“There must be full video surveillance coverage of dormitories and classrooms free of blind spots, ensuring that guards on duty can monitor in real time, record things in detail, and report suspicious circumstances immediately,” it adds.

According to the memo, “students” must stay in detention for at least one year, though that rule was not always enforced, former inmates told ICIJ.

The Chinese embassy in London denied such documents existed, telling the Guardian, one of the partners in publishing the memos, they were “pure fabrication and fake news”.

Book Of Revelation Chapter #11

Revelation Chapter #11

 

Here in chapter #11 we are going to be talking about the projected time frame from the closing of the Great Tribulation Period. In the first 14 verses of the 19 in this chapter we are still in the interlude between the 6th and the 7th Trumpet. Within the last 5 verses we will have a discussion about the 7th Trumpet. In the beginning of chapter #10 I wrote to you of the 3 Personalities that would be made known to us during this time frame. In chapter #10 we were informed of the ‘Mighty Angel’ who had the ‘Little Book’ in His hand. This is the Angel who had planted one foot in the Sea and the other on the Land. This ‘Mighty Angel’ then claimed all of Creation for their Creator. In these first 14 verses of chapter 11 we are informed of the “Two Witnesses”. Now folks, if you would please stay with me as I put a light onto these two Witnesses and upon this very important chapter.

 

Verse #1.) “And there was given to me (the Apostle John) a reed like unto a rod: and the Angel (the Mighty Angel from chapter 10) stood, saying, rise and measure the Temple of God and the Alter and them that worship therein.” “But the Court that is outside the Temple leave out and do not measure it. For it is given unto the Gentiles (non-Jews): They (Gentiles) shall tread under foot the Holy City for forty and two months.” “And I will give power unto My Two Witnesses and they shall Prophesy (Preach) one thousand and two hundred and sixty days (three and one half years, or 42 months) clothed in sackcloth.” “These are the two Olive Trees and the Two Candlesticks standing before the God of the Earth.” “And if any man will hurt them, fire will come forth out of their mouth and devour their enemies. If and man will try to hurt them,  they will in this manner be killed.” “These (two men) will have the power to shut Heaven so that it will not rain in the days of their Prophesy. And they will have the power over the waters to turn them to blood and to smite the Earth with all plagues, as often as they wish.” “And when they have finished their testimony, the Beast (Devil) that ascends out of the Bottomless Pit shall make war against them and shall overcome them and kill them.” “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city (Jerusalem) which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” “And the people of all the kindred’s and tongues and Nations shall see their dead bodies three and one half days and shall not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.” “And they that dwell upon the Earth shall rejoice over them (their dead bodies) and make merry and shall send gifts one to another; because these two Prophets had tormented them that dwell on the Earth.” “And after three and a half days the Spirit of Life from God shall enter into them and they shall stand upon their feet and great fear shall fall upon them that see them.” “And they shall hear a Great Voice from Heaven saying unto them (the two Witnesses) come up hither. And they shall ascend up to Heaven in a cloud and their enemies shall see them.” “And in the same hour there shall be a great earthquake and a tenth part of the city shall fall. And in the earthquake seven thousand men shall be slain. And the rest shall be frightened and they shall give glory to the God of Heaven.” “The Second Woe is past and behold the Third Woe shall come quickly.”

 

Verse 15.) “And the Seventh Angel sounded (His Trumpet) and there were great Voices in Heaven, saying, the Kingdom’s of this world are become the Kingdom’s of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever over them.” “And the four and twenty Elders which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces and worshiped God.” “Saying, we give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which is and was and are to come. Because You have taken to Thee Thy great power and hast reigned.” “And the Nations were angry and thy (God’s) wrath is come. And the time of the dead that they should be judged. And that You (God) will give reward unto Your Servants the Prophets and to the Saints and to them that fear Thy Name, small and great and You will destroy them which destroy the Earth.” (Last verse #19) “And the Temple of God was opened in Heaven and there shall be seen in His Temple the Ark of His Testament. And there were lightnings and voices and thundering and an earthquake and great hail.”

 

Folks the Books of Enoch and the Book of Nicodemus, both of which were not Canonized, do give the information as to whom these Two Witnesses are. Think about it for a moment, who are the only two men within Scripture who were “Called Up” to God and did not die a physical death upon the Earth? Even our Lord Jesus (Yeshua) had to suffer a physical death. The answer is really quite simple, Enoch and Elijah! I write this now to all of you, friend of God and Foe, to all who love God and to all who hate Him and His Christ, consider your ways. For the breath of a man is but the blink of the eye and Christ’s Judgement Seat awaits everyone of us. The days of our time is short and eternity is being weighed in the balance for each of us, so friends, please, consider your ways!

 

 

Bible: Book Of Revelation Chapter #10

Book Of Revelation Chapter #10

 

The theme of chapter 10 is the events between the 6th and the 7th Trumpets, the Mighty Angel and the “Little Book.”

“And I (John) saw another Mighty Angel come down from Heaven clothed with a cloud: And a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was like unto the sun, and His feet were as pillars of fire.” “And He had in His hand a ‘Little Book’ that was open, and He sat His right foot upon the Sea and His left foot upon the Earth.” “And He cried with a loud voice, as when a Lion roars, and when He had spoken, Seven Thunders uttered their voices.” “After the Seven Thunders had uttered Their voices, I was about to write when I heard a Voice from Heaven saying to me, seal up those things which the 7 Thunders spoke and do not write them.” “And the Angel I saw standing upon the Earth and the Sea lifted up His hand to Heaven.” “And swore by Him that lives forever and ever who created Heaven and the things that are therein. And the Sea and the things that are therein, that they should be no longer.” “But in the days of the Voice of the 7th Angel, when He shall begin to speak, the mystery of God shall be shown, as He has declaired to His Servants the Prophets.” “And the Voice that I had heard from Heaven spoke to me again, and said, go and take the Little Book which is open in the hand of the Angel which stands upon the Sea and upon the Earth.” “And I went up to the Angel and said unto Him, give me the Little Book. And He said unto me, take it and eat it; and it shall make your belly bitter, but in your mouth it shall be as sweet as honey.” “And I took the Little Book out of the Angels hand and ate it. And in my mouth it was as sweet as honey. But as soon as I had eaten it, it was bitter in my belly.” “And the Angel said unto me, you must Prophesy (preach) again before many people and Nations and Languages and Kings.”

 

Here in Chapter #10 in the space between the 6th and the 7th Trumpet 3 Personalities are introduce to us. Here in Chapter #10 the first of the 3, which is the mighty Angel with the Little Book is introduced to us. Then in the first 14 verses of Chapter #11 the other two will be introduced to us. This ‘Little Book’ is the Book of the 7 Seals. This Book is the Title, the Deed Book, to the Earth. By chance did you notice that this ‘Little Book’ was transferred from the Hands of God The Father to God The Son who then opened it by the breaking of its 7 Seals? Then, the Book was given to the Mighty Angel who had one foot in the Sea and one foot upon the Earth who then claimed all things for God their Creator! Friends, no matter who we are, no matter how powerful or important we think we are, we as Humans, we own nothing in this life! If any of us are doubting these things which are being written by the Hand of God’s Holy Spirit through His Apostle John please pay attention now. Please lend an ear, and open your eyes and heart so that you/we may obtain a better understanding of what the Truth is.

 

If a person truly owns something, for example, land, a house, a car, bank account of jewelry, then no one can legally take it from us, correct? When we purchase something we paid for it, we paid our taxes on it and we received a Title or a Deed from the purchase, it’s ours, correct? No friends, that is not correct. If a person legally owns something then it can not be legally taken away from them at least that is the assumption that we are taught to be the truth, at least it is here in the States. At the very least we the people are being deceived by government propaganda. For the purpose of examples let us use our car and our home that we spent years laboring to pay for. We have the titles, we have the Deed, it is ours, our name is upon them as ‘the owner’ and they are tucked away in our safety deposit box at the place that we bank, so they are secure, they are ours, right? Unfortunately, no.

 

Here is the example I will use for you. Each year the City, County, State and Federal Governments continue to demand more and more tax revenue from the people who live under their authority. Be it a personal property tax, an income tax, or even ‘owed’ Social Security taxes or any other various levels of tax that is laid upon the people by the various ‘Taxing Authorities’, we never ever quit owing these government entities. Here in the U.S. our Country’s Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution making such taxes illegal. But, these career politicians of these past two hundred years have circumvented Our Constitution making it almost completely of no effect. They have done this so that they are the ones with all of the power and money and not the people. Friends, things are only going to get much worse as the Clock of Time continues to wind down. Now, back to the Ownership subject matter. If we as a people decide not to pay Personal Property taxes because we feel that we paid the taxes on ‘our property’ when we bought it, what will happen to us? The only debate will be which government agency will take ‘our property’ and whom will put us in prison first. Folks, it is a reality that the Government owns absolutely everything right down to the clothes on our back and the gold or silver in our mouth. Reality is, the politicians have made it totally ‘legal’ for them to do these things to us, we the people. Folks, we are only renting our possessions from the governments. It is the governments of the world that own every material thing. For it is they who can take our life and everything that we ‘own’. The only thing that they can not take from a person is their Soul. But, if a person desires the material things above all else to where we make ‘things’ our God, then they can win our Soul also.

 

In the Book of Leviticus 25: 23 Moses wrote the following instructions to the people of Israel concerning the land at God’s instruction. “The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for you are strangers and sojourners in it with Me.” If you will remember, after our Lord Jesus was baptized and received again His Holy Spirit our Lord went into the wilderness. For 40 days He was tempted by the Devil Himself. Among the temptations the Devil tempted our Lord Jesus (Yeshua) with you can find in the Gospel of Mark 4: 5-8, please consider what is written here. “And the Devil, taking Him (Jesus) up into a high mountain, showed Him all the Kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” “And the Devil said to Him (Jesus), all this power will I give you, and the glory of them. For they are delivered unto me and to whosoever I will give it.” “If you will therefore bow down and worship me, all shall be yours.” “And Jesus answered and said unto him, get Thee behind me Satan, for it is written, thou shall worship the Lord thy God and Him alone shall you serve.” Please now consider this reality, the Kingdoms (Governments) of the world belong/ed to Satan and He gave the Power and the glory (riches) of them to whomsoever He (Satan) pleased/chose to. Also please consider that if He did not rule/own them, how could He (Satan) give them to Jesus or to anyone else? 

 

Did you notice what the Devils price tag was for Him to give up His power over the Nations? God the Son bowing down and worshiping the Devil! You see that is something that the Devil has always wanted, to be worshiped as God, in other words, Total Submission to Him! Friends, this battle is still true unto this very day and it will be until Armageddon. Just as we humans through our lack of knowledge and ego’s think we own material possessions, but we do not, at best, we are renting them within the Devils system of things. So, the Devil claims all the world’s riches and their governments to be His, and they are, but it is only a temporary thing and He knows it and He is furious about it. The real fact is that all things were created by God, for God and all things belong to God. You nor I nor Kings or Presidents or the Devil Himself truly hold the deed to the Earth, God does. The Devil knows this and it is something we humans need to fully understand, we own nothing, simply put the Devil and His governments claim it. But they are only temporary folks, they shall pass away into the Pit of Hell along with all the people who worship the material things of this life. Friends this world will follow the Demons into the Pit of the Earth and I just pray that none of us ever see the place.

 

Do not be dismayed at these words nor be distraught by them. The Light that is God is only a prayer away. We either serve God or we serve money, no one can really serve both. The Kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdoms or our Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua) through His judgement as the Creator and the Redeemer of this world. The whole Earth belongs to Him, we are told by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Romans 9: 28 “For He (Jesus) will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the Earth.” The Prophet Daniel labeled this the Tribulation period as 7 years.

 

In the Lord’s Olivet Discourse in the Gospel of Matthew 24: 22 it is written “And except those days should be shortened no flesh would be saved: but for the Elects sake those days shall be shortened.” The Angel is telling the Elect, the believers and follower’s of God “don’t worry, he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.” Friends, I close this letter to you this evening with the following thoughts. The Apostle John believed that all the Nations, Peoples, Languages and Colors needed to hear and to understand the Word Of God. All people, then and now need to be warned that Judgement is coming to/for all of us. There will be millions of people who will go into the Tribulation Period and it will seem like a thousand years long to them, this period will be literally like a Hell on Earth. We only think that the evil we see now is horrible but as the old saying goes, we ain’t seen nothing yet. The Book of Revelation is 22 chapters long so we are almost half way through this Book of Prophesy. Prophesy about and against the people and the Nations of this System of things is necessary, for reality is that there is a Judgement to come for all of us. Folks, if we will study this Book of Prophesy it will have a definite effect upon our life! Either it will help bring us closer to our Creator, or it will drive us further from Him.

(Philosophy/Poem) Passions And Spirits

 

Passions And Spirits

 

What are our passions with which our life we have filled

Deep within the depths of our mind where do our lusts live

What resides there, what really means the most to you and me

Are our heart chambers filled with dark secrets and lies

Secrets that we can never share nor let see the light

 

 

Are our passions dark like the blood of a single black rose

Are we ashamed of our self for these secrets we do hide

Or, are our passions of envy of the riches we cannot have

Children, a life without passion is a life you haven’t lived

The inner dwellings of our heart is the living room of our Soul

 

 

Friends who or what have we let set in our heart’s Captain’s chair

What has their hand on the throttle and the keys of our heart

Are our passions of the flesh like politicians who sell their birthright

On whose shoulder do we choose to lean as we walk through this life

How many footprints will we see in the sand as we look back at life’s end

 

 

If we wish to turn our focus away from the toys of this life

If we wish to be a Prophet, a Holy Man, or one of God’s Saints

We must follow the quieter path led by of the Spirit of Light

Our path is always determined by how we choose to life our life

Child understand the passion of God’s Spirit is not of this world

 

 

The Judgement Seat of Christ awaits us all at the end of our life

Believers or not, we will all stand there trembling before The Christ

All of our passions whether good or evil will manifest before all eyes

To all the Hosts of Heaven and Hell there will be no place to hide

We have no passion, or secret, or deed, that won’t be put into the light

We all will answer for our passions as we look in the eyes Jesus Christ

(Philosophy/Poem) Daughters Of The Cloth

Daughters Of The Cloth

 

Sisters of God who wear The White Cloth

Do not hang your head in doubt or shame

Timothy, Paul’s Scribe wrote those words

Not from the Apostle’s lips have they came

 

 

Even now in our so-called modern days we live

Against the Daughters of God’s White Cloth

Many unknowing still through blindness rant

Many even today still don’t see or understand

Blinded to the reason they were needed to be

 

 

People, look around the world in which we live

See how God’s daughters are forced into a Burka

Beheaded and stoned if to a man they dare say a word

Do you really think God’s Church could have grown

If the Apostles had condoned the women to teach

To stand in front of the ignorant egotistical men

 

 

The Lord Himself told us all so very plain

In the last days, before to us once again He came

His Sons and Daughters would prophesy, in His Name

Friend, son, do not slander a Daughter of God

If She is teaching Scripture in His Holy Name

(Philosophy/Religious/Poem) Darkness The Thunder And The Light

Darkness The Thunder And The Light

 

Deep in the night as we quietly slumber in our bed

Lying peacefully in the darkness, minds filled with dreams

To a loud clap of thunder our subconscious now awakens

In the darkness we hear the thunder then see the lightning flash

From sleep, or eyes wide open, does the sound of the thunder frighten

Rumblings deep and dark we hear it in all the corners of our mind

 

 

The sounds can slap our souls like the clapping of God’s mighty hands

A loud crack, then the awesome lights from the Heavens come flashing in

Does the lightning bring peace to your soul, or melt your heart within

Do we try to live our lives quietly in the dark, ignoring the signs of the times

Are we at peace within ourselves, with the Maker of the thunder and the light

Thunder can draw one’s attention, lightning a mighty sting, this I know first hand

 

 

August 83 evening storm moving in, bivouac in the Army, living in ignorant bliss

A finger of God reached out and touched me, my body and mind will never let me forget

Each day we open our eyes, we think life is up to us, foolish, it’s up to the Keeper of time

Yes, we can all decide to live our lives in the slumber of Spiritual darkness and denial

When this life that we now live is over, we all have a Soul, and forever somewhere it will live

Where it resides is determined by the life we now live, are we strong, or just chafe in the wind

Thunder, is it the clapping of God’s hands and lightning a sign of His power, friends, He don’t miss

(Philosophy/Poem): My Name Is Nod (About The Garden Of Eden)

My Name Is Nod

OF THE SEVERAL HUNDRED POEMS THAT I HAVE WRITTEN THROUGH THE YEARS THIS IS MY OWN PERSONAL FAVORITE.

This is a poem that is designed to make you think, to get you to maybe get the book of Genesis out for another look-see. Maybe, if you are not good at world geography you might want to dig into some maps of the known world of about 5,000 years or so ago. I hope that you enjoy it, quite a bit of research went into making this poem be accurate.

 

Do you know me

Listen, does not the wind whisper

Do not the mountains echo my name

How is it that you do not know me

Did not Moses lay out the path to my door

 

 

For two of your human generations

The Valley of The Garden of God

Was my western door

My Sister, Lake Urmia was fast a sleep

Within her no bounty ever found

The West Gate of God’s Garden she guarded

Now she is but salty ground

 

 

Did not my mountains rumble

And spew forth fire and rocks

How is it you can not find me

Can you not hear the ticking of the clock

 

 

Many of your years ago now one came to me

Spewed forth from the Garden of God

With a mark upon his head, he came unto me

So all my inhabitants would know

That whosoever dared to harm him

Would quickly also soon be dead

 

 

The Garden has now so long been gone

It’s land like mine is scorched

The Face of God once again I yearn to see

When the light shines and the Trumpet blasts

Will He with tearful voice echo my words to you

My Child, My Child, how is it you do not know me

The most religious countries in the world

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

The most religious countries in the world

Trends in in the Western world have show a decline in religiosity for quite some time now. While some may foresee a growing rise of secularism across the globe, these trends are not reflected in many parts of the developing world. More than 55 countries across Asia and Africa report over 90% of their populations identifying as religious. Of these nations, some tend towards religious homogeneity, whereas others are a mixed bag of diverse religious beliefs. Gauging religiosity can be complicated both by the method of investigation and the legal and social restrictions of a population. Because of this, it’s necessary to take several different approaches to measuring religiosity within a population.

Countries with 97% religious populations

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The most straightforward measure of religiosity is simply to ask populations if they identify as religious. By this measure, the third tier of super-majority religious populations is peppered across Asia and Africa. Of the countries reporting 97% religiosity, four are majority Muslim, comprising Afghanistan, Comoros, Egypt, and Morocco. Thailand, Myanmar and Laos are majority Buddhist nations, though Myanmar has no state religion.

Countries with 98% religious populations

All of the second-ranking nations by self-identifying religious practitioners are in North Africa. Of these countries, Burundi is the only majority (86%) Christian nation. Djibouti, Mauritania and Somalia also report 98% religiosity with majority Muslim populations. Mauritania reports a nearly 100% Muslim population, though religious freedom has been criticized there and may influence self-reports.

Countries with 99% religious populations

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Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Malawi, Niger, and Sri Lanka are the world’s most religious countries by self-identification with 99% of the population self-identifying as religious. Niger, Indonesia, and Bangladesh have super-majorities of Muslims with large celebrations and displays of their faith. Malawi and Ethiopia show majority Christian populations with a notable presence of Muslims. Finally, in Sri Lanka, Buddhism is the major religion, though it shows the most diversity among faiths in the top tier of religiosity, including adherents of Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.

Most devout populations

Identifying as religious doesn’t necessarily equate to the devotion of adherents. Whereas religious identity is most predominant in the above listed societies, it can be separately measured as to how religious the participants in a study identify themselves. By this measure, the citizens of Israel identify most strongly with their religious identity (Jewish) among all world populations. This figure is followed closely by Muslims in Saudi Arabia and then Iran.

Largest religious populations

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The United States houses the largest number of Christians by a population of over 229 million. With 245 million followers, Indonesia has the largest number of Muslims. India is the homeland and capital of Hinduism with 957 million, and China houses the largest number of Buddhists. Finally, Israel has the largest number of Jewish citizens in the world at 6 million.

Largest religions

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Measuring by ratio and devotion is a separate measure from the size of a faith. Islam takes many of the top spots, but it is not yet the world’s most widely-practiced religion. Christianity still holds the lead in terms of followers by a substantial spread as the world’s most widely practiced religion ahead of Islam. Of the entire human population, 33% are Christian and 24.1% are Muslim. The third largest group of spiritual identity is “unaffiliated,” comprising atheists, agnostics, and the irreligious.

World’s least religious

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sweden is among the most secular countries in the world with only 8% of Swedes regularly attending religious service, and only one in three weddings is performed by the Church of Sweden.

5 Beautiful Temples to Visit in China

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Beautiful Temples to Visit in China

China is one of the world’s most innovative and progressive countries, yet step away from the modernity and you’ll discover a country that maintains a firm grip on its ancient cultures and spirituality. There’s hundreds of fascinating temples and shrines scattered across this great land that offer a glimpse into the centuries-old philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism. To see them all could take a lifetime, so we’ve chosen five of the most beautiful to get you started.

Dafo Temple, Gansu Province

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Constructed during the Western Xia dynasty, this 2nd-century temple is one of the last-surviving wooden landmarks from the era located in China. It’s often called the “Great Buddha Temple”, a reference to the 115-foot-long sleeping Buddha that greets you in the main hall. Sculptures of arhats, who are Buddhists that have gained enlightenment, surround the giant statue, as do murals of classic Chinese stories such as Journey to the West and Classic of Mountain and Seas. Legend states that a Yuan Dynasty queen lived there and gave birth to the Mongolian warrior Kublai Khan.

Hanging Temple (Xuankong Si), Shanxi Province

Credit: Dashu Xinganling/Shutterstock.com

Little can prepare you for your first sight of this series of pagodas set precariously on a cliff face at the base of Mount Heng. Time Magazine included the temple in its list of Top 10 Precarious Buildings, and it is easy to see why when studying the interconnecting walkways and long supporting stilts, which are embedded into the rocks. Despite giving the impression that it will fall at any moment, the temple has stood firm for 1,400 years. Even more impressive when it is said the foundations were laid by a solitary monk. In addition to its magnificent structure, the temple is the only place in China where Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are all practiced.

Labrang Monastery, Gansu Province

Credit: Marcin Szymczak/Shutterstock.com

Established in 1709, Labrang Monastery plays host to the largest group of monks outside of Tibet and, at one point, provided residence for up to 4,000 of them. A great way to experience its serene beauty is to follow the inner kora, a 2.2-mile pathway of prayer wheels that pass numerous chapels and temple halls. Guided tours provide access to some halls and the chance to observe the monks’ activities first hand. Get here at sunrise to see the monks praying, or come at dusk to hear them chanting sutras.

Longmen Cave Temples, Henan Province

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On an almost 1-mile long stretch of the Yi River waterfront is a collection of 2,300 caves that have existed since around 493 A.D. Each cave is etched into limestone cliffs and features some of the finest known examples of art from the Northern Wei and Tang dynasties. There’s over 110,000 statues and 60 Buddhist pagodas. Among the most striking statues are the huge Buddhas in the Guyangdong Cave and Three Binyang Cave. Such is the value of the caves that they have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Temple of Heaven, Beijing

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In the heart of Beijing is a masterpiece of Chinese architecture that dates back to 1406. The main temple, the triple-tier circular Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, stands magnificently on a square marble base. This square-round contrast stems from the ancient Chinese belief of a round heaven and square Earth. The four inner, 12 middle, and 12 outer columns of the hall’s brightly-colored interior symbolize the four seasons, 12 months, and 12 Chinese zodiac hours. Landscaped gardens and pine woods encompass the temple and the entire complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3 Religious Temples With a Dark History

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Religious Temples With a Dark History

While many religious sites are viewed as beautiful, blessed places of worship, some of them are hiding a very dark history underneath their bejeweled exterior. Some temples have origin stories that include killing and/or threats of mythical proportions, and others are even said to be a path to Hell instead of Heaven. Here are three religious temples that just might give you more nightmares than miracles.

Tanah Lot Temple, Bali

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Built in the 16th century, the Tanah Lot temple in Bali is one of seven ocean temples built for the purpose of honoring the “spirits of the sea.” It is a beautiful piece of architecture, looking much like a ship made of stone, but its origin story is a rather dark one. According to legend, Niratha, a Brahmin priest, created the temple. Knowing it needed to be protected from evil, he took off the sashes he was wearing and threw them into the water, where they turned into snakes. To this day, scores of sea snakes surround Tanah Lot, protecting it from dark energies – and from people who just hate snakes. To make this temple even more secure, it is only accessible when the tide is low and a land bridge is revealed. Unfortunately, you can’t go inside unless you follow the Hindu religion, but either way you can observe the beautiful temple and its snake guardians from a short distance.

Cappella Sansevero, Italy

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Cappella Sansevereo is technically a “chapel” instead of a “temple,” but it deserves to be included on this list thanks to its pure creepiness. Capella Sansevero in Naples, Italy began as a kind of temple where the Sansevero family could worship God privately, before it ultimately became their burial chapel. But this is not the dark part. This chapel is home to two “anatomical machines”: a male and a pregnant female skeleton with a perfectly preserved circulatory system still present in their bodies (there also used to be a fetus to go with them, but it has since vanished). These anatomical machines were made by an anatomist named Giuseppe Salerno and collected by another, much spookier man named Raimondo di Sangro, who was the head of the Masonic lodge in Naples and believed to be some sort of dark wizard. The locals believed that he could make blood out of nothing at all, and that he frequently murdered people to experiment on them. While he didn’t make “Adam and Eve,” there is a rumor that they are actually two of his servants that he killed so that Salerno could make his sculptures, which now lurk beneath the main part of the chapel.

Mount Osore, Japan

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