What Buddha?

At an awesome 153 m tall, the bronze buddha recently unveiled in central China's Henan province seemed destined to become a rare tourist attraction in a place better known for its burgeoning AIDS problem. Yet when thousands of people tried attending the buddha's dedication ceremony last year, police shooed them away. And when the Henan Economic Experiment newspaper mentioned the statue in March, the edition was yanked from newsstands by provincial officials. The journalist who wrote the story was fired the following day, along with his editor. To date, no other mention of the buddha has appeared in the mainland press....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!