Iran bans Buddha

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An Iranian newspaper is reporting that authorities are confiscating Buddha statues from shops in Tehran in efforts to halt the “cultural invasion” of Buddhism throughout the country.

The country has been tough on Western influences, such as Barbie dolls and “The Simpsons” television show, but this is the first time the country appears to be blocking an Eastern symbol, the Associated Press reports.

Sunday’s report by the Arman Daily quotes Saeed Jaberi Ansari, an official for the protection of Iran’s culture, as saying that  the Buddha statues are symbols of “cultural invasion” and that officials will not permit a specific belief to be promoted through such items.

Mr. Ansari did not specify how many statues had been confiscated, but he said the “cleansing” will continue.

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