Lu Wenrong, a Chinese monk, is under the spotlight once more after he spent GBP 42 million (USD 54.2 million) to build his own temple on Hainan Island, a popular tourist destination, reports Daily Mail. The Yuchan Palace, construction between 2003 and 2006 on the island’s Wenbi Peak, has over 20 structures.
According to Lu, the structure aims to ‘promote Southern-style Taoism and Chinese culture.’
Lu previously garnered attention and criticism when his son, Lu Wanzhen was purportedly kidnapped by a group of armed individuals in Canada. Lu’s son is a 22 -year-old student who reportedly sports 4 supercars and owns an apartment worth GBP 321,000 (USD 408,220) paid in cash. He is also said to be wearing designer clothes during the abduction
Aside from his son’s issues, the monk himself was a subject of rumors when information circulated claiming that Lu spent GBP 300,000 (USD 381,517) for his girlfriend whom he met online and whom he has known for only 20 days.
He is also criticized for his luxurious lifestyle and for having a wife and consumption of meat, both of which are restricted in Taoism. Moreover, monks are known for their simple and low-profile lifestyle.
However, the monk answered such criticisms saying that his branch of Taoism allows its religious figures to consume meat and form romantic relationships. He also clarified that he only spent GBP 6.8 million (USD 8.6 million) as the land was bought in 1993.
Lu was born into a low-income family and became a businessman. According to sources, he became a monk after being humiliated when he failed to answer questions about classical Chinese writings in South Africa back in 1995.
The multi-millionaire religious figure now serves as the director of Hainan Taoism Association and the deputy director of the Chinese Taoism Association.