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In what could be the most explosive allegations yet in China's MeToo movement, one of the country's top Buddhist monks is in the spotlight. Abbot Xuecheng is being accused of sexually harassing nuns and coercing them into sex, all revealed in a document leaked by two former monks. Xuecheng is the head of the Buddhist Association of China, the youngest person to ever hold that position with more than a million followers on the Chinese social network Weibo.
He's also a political adviser to the government and the latest case of a prominent figure accused of sexual misconduct in China. Reuters Philip Wen has been following the story.>> I think the case is certainly quite unique because of the characters involved. We're talking about a very senior Buddhist monk who is meant to be a paragon of virtue and meant to treat his subjects with kindness and in fact, meant to be celibate.
>> The 95 page document reveals extensive details with screenshots of explicit text messages allegedly sent by Xuecheng telling nuns they could be purified through physical contact, and that sex was part of their study of religious doctrines. Xuecheng has denied the claims, and on Wednesday, he posted a statement from his temple on his Weibo microblog, saying that the allegations stemmed from fabricated evidence and distorted facts.
>> There still is a lot of government pressure. There's still a lot of online censorship on Chinese social media, whether it's Weibo or WeChat. And that has affected this case as well, the 95 page document that was going viral online has now being blocked. It's getting more difficult for people who haven't seen it already to access it.
And that is what we've seen that has been in line with the broader discussion around MeToo online>> The Chinese government says it's starting an investigation, treating it as a matter of quote, high importance.