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HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/CHINA-TAOISM
RTX7UJ0R
September 10, 2020
In a room inside a hillside Taoist monastery in China's Shandong province lies a collection of 558 memorial...
Laiwu, China
The Wider Image: Taoist priest honours China's coronavirus dead with memorial tablets
In a room inside a hillside Taoist monastery in China's Shandong province lies a collection of 558 memorial tablets inscribed with the names and hometowns of people who died after contracting the coronavirus or while battling the pandemic. "A person's true death is when the whole world has forgotten them," said Taoist priest Liang Xingyang, who started the collection on Jan. 29, shortly after Chinese authorities announced that the virus could pass between humans. "No matter what religion or beliefs they hold, their spirit deserves to be passed on. In fact, they live on in our hearts." Taoism, or Daoism, is a philosophy-turned-religion that has tens of millions of followers in China and is one of the country's five officially sanctioned religions. Taoists use memorial tablets to give souls a place to rest after death, Liang said. The monastery complex, where a small community of priests lives, sleeps, eats and worships, is spread across a rocky hill. As of September 8, there have been 85,146 confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China and 4,634 people have died. Globally, at least 897,000 people have died from COVID-19 and over 27 million have been infected. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang SEARCH "TAOISM TINGSHU" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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