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During the seventh century Buddhism was introduced into Tibet Tibet was controlledby the Chinese empire from the 1600s until 1912 when most of it gained itsindependence Half a century ago in 1949 Chinese troops invaded Tibet once againending its isolation beyond the Himalayan mountains The Chinese communists rejected Tibets unique brand of Buddhism and forbade the practicing of any such religion Atfirst the Dalai Lama Tibets spiritual and temporal leader was allowed to serve as adomestic authority there Later however in the midst of the invasion the Dalai Lamaand over 100000 Tibetans were forced to flee into exile in India After 1959 things onlygot worse Over one million Tibetans nearly one-fifth of the countrys population diedas a result of Chinas new policies Many more were thrown into prisons and laborcamps and thousands of temples and other historic buildings were destroyed In theyears after Tibets remarkable culture and its inhabitants have been persecuted and theTibetans have struggled to get back their freedom and keep their culture intact As Tibets fight for independence continued people around the world becameaware of the situation Upon hearing of the devastating events that took place more andmore people wanted to help out in any way possible There have been severalHollywood stars who have supported Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism They include GoldieHawn Harrison Ford Barbara Streisand Meg Ryan and Robert Thurman One man inparticular has time and time again showed his dedication to supporting Tibet his nameGere was born in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 1950 and was raised by hisparents Homer and Dolores on a farm in Syracuse He was a very normal child and laterin life found himself to be very successful in the acting world During his mid twentiesGere began to study Zen Buddhism and became very interested
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