No, really, you read it right. The Chinese government has banned reincarnation without government permission.
In one of history’s more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."
Actually, despite the article’s claim (and as the article eventually points out), it really isn’t as an absurd of an act as it may seem, even though it is certainly representative of totalitarianism.
In fact, it is all about China’s war with the Dalai Lama.
At 72, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it’s under Chinese control. Assuming he’s able to master the feat of controlling his rebirth, as Dalai Lamas supposedly have for the last 600 years, the situation is shaping up in which there could be two Dalai Lamas: one picked by the Chinese government, the other by Buddhist monks.
We can all figure out how that will work.
The Chinese communists surface very visibly every now and then as if to remind everyone that China is far from a free country. And, in such a totalitarian country, no detail is too small for the government to ignore … even something in which it likely doesn’t even believe.