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China’s “first emperor” banned Buddhism

According to researchers, Emperor Qin Shihuang, best known for the first version of the Great Wall and being burried with a terra cotta army of guards and horses, attempted to crush Buddhism during his reign.

 “China’s first and most influential history book, the Historical Records, stated clearly that Emperor Qin Shihuang (259 BC-210 BC) strictly banned Buddhism and Buddhist temples,” said Han Wei, a noted researcher with Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archeology.

Though the book, written between 104 B.C. to 91 B.C., provided no evidence of temples destroyed or monks exiled, Han said he believed the ban had been very effective.

“Buddhism never appeared again in historical documents until 2 B.C.,” Han said.

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