Unemployed Chinese youths seek solace in temples

STORY: Hundreds of young people are flocking to Beijing's iconic Lama Temple

These youths light up incense sticks to pray for better job prospects

A record one-fifth of young Chinese aged between 16 and 24 are unemployed

[Graduate student, Yu]

"So, it might have a bit to do with (finding jobs). If you can't find (a job) then you come here to pay your respects and pray for a better job."

[University students, Chen, Kong]

"I very much have (come here to pray for job opportunities)' 'Yes, we're under a lot of stress.'

'Because I'm overwhelmed by stress, and we just want to come here for a break from that, to visit the temple, pray, and so on."

The job market is still reeling from last year's stringent 'zero-COVID' lockdowns

as well as crackdowns on the tech and education sectors

[Chen, University student]

"Now it feels like university students are everywhere these days, as well as postgraduates. The bar for finding a job is rising, and there are more and more people with even higher qualifications. There are so many students pinning their hopes on postgraduate studies or the civil service exams. It's getting harder and harder to find a job because everyone's stuck in the same boat."

Temple visits are up 310% so far this year compared to 2022