A Buddhist monastery in central Thailand is now without monks after all of its holy men failed drug tests and were defrocked, as reported by AFP.
According to district administrator, Boonlert Thintapthai of Phetchabun province, four monks, including an abbot, at a temple in the Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday.
The monks have been transferred to a medical facility for drug rehabilitation.
The monks have left the temple, and the nearby villagers are worried that they cannot perform any merit-making, he said.
Worshippers might earn merit by giving food to monks as a good deed.
More monks will be dispatched to the temple, according to Boonlert, so that the locals can fulfil their religious duties.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime claims that Thailand is a significant transit country for methamphetamine that enters the country via Laos from Myanmar’s unstable Shan state.
Pills can be purchased for less than 20 baht (about $0.50) on the street.
In recent years, authorities in Southeast Asia have seized unprecedented amounts of meth.
(with inputs from agencies)