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Tibetan Buddhism is the state religion of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia. This clip offers a brief examination of how Buddhist beliefs and practices have survived persecution in this part of the world. Presenter Reverend Peter Owen-Jones visits a Tibetan Buddhist community in the Kalmyk region of southern Russia, the only Buddhist state in Europe. He describes the oppression and deportation of Buddhists by Stalin and observes a service in the temple. The Dalai Lama is revered by the Buddhists, but is denied permission to visit by the Russian authorities. A large apartment built for his visit has never been used.
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First broadcast:
16 January 2009

Classroom Ideas

Students could use this clip when thinking about why people hold on to their beliefs in the face of opposition or persecution. They could reflect on the value of rituals and the importance of hope in the lives of believers and in their own lives.

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