Thai Buddhist leaders battle over politics, sex and money scandals

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Buddhist monks line up outside a temple to receive food early morning in Bangkok, Thailand, January 14, 2016. Political divisions and allegations of corruption are fueling an unholy battle for the leadership of Thai Buddhism. REUTERS/Jorge Silva - RTX22AY6

Buddhist monks line up outside a temple to receive food early morning in Bangkok, Thailand, January 14, 2016. Political divisions and allegations of corruption are fueling an unholy battle for the leadership of Thai Buddhism. REUTERS/Jorge Silva - RTX22AY6

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Religion is becoming a proxy war for political rivalries and sex and money scandals, leaving millions of Buddhists stuck in the middle.

  • MaryLou Scherer

    I visited Thailand a few years ago, and I remember a fellow professor explaining to me that most of Buddhist monks are ex-convicts who become monks to overcome the social stigma of having been in prison. In Thailand, once you have in prison it is very had to find a job and even to rent a place to live, so they become monks, beg, and make a living that way, giving alms to the monks is seen as an act of piety and righteousness, so the monks take advantage of that to survive.

  • Jason Frye

    I am interested in this topic, but this article was a bit confusing.