24 Oct 2010

Buddhist community outraged over demon beating case

KHOU Channel 11 News - Texas April 7, 2009

by Kevin Reese | 11 News

HOUSTON – Houston’s Vietnamese and Buddhist communities are outraged over what they claim is a distortion of their religious beliefs.

The outrage comes after Jacky Tran allegedly beat his 3-year-old-son. Neighbors say the beating was a Buddhist motivated attempt to force out demons.

"We don't want to be looked upon as sharing the same kind of beliefs and actions as that man. Everybody condemns that action," Vu Thanh Thuy of Radio Saigon Houston said.

The Vietnam Buddhist Center in Sugar Land also condemns Tran’s actions.

They wanted to make it clear that Buddhism does not teach anything about removing demons, especially at the painful expense of another human’s life.

"I think he has a problem with his mind. I don't think it has got anything to do with religion," Lien Tu of the Vietnam Buddhist Center said.

In fact, the major landmark at the Vietnam Buddhist Center is a 720-foot tall statue of the Bodhi Safa. In Buddhism, this is the goddess of peace and mercy, which is the opposite of the religious claims being made in the case of Jacky Tran.

Callers to Radio Saigon on Tuesday suggested there might be a religious cult at work. They think the cult may prey on the superstitious so that they do something like this to improve their bad luck.

"In this economy, when people have no where to turn, they easily fall prey to those kind of things" Thuy said.

The communities want to send the message that Buddhism is about alleviating suffering, not causing it, especially when it comes to a helpless 3-year-old boy.

In court on Tuesday, the primary witness for the prosecution of Tran and the boy’s mother was a 6-year-old girl. She is the little boy’s sister and she’s currently in foster care.

If convicted, the parents could face from 5 to 99 years in prison, regardless of their motivation for injuring their son.

In the meantime, the 3-year-old boy is awake and breathing on his own. He suffered skull fractures from the beatings, but officials say he will be okay.

This article was found at: http://www.khou.com/news/local/crime/stories/khou0904-07_mp_jackie-tran-case.b1aeab88.html

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