The charismatic Dalai Lama will turn 79 on July 6th and even though in 2011 he had announced he would be giving up his role as Tibet’s political leader, he continues to be a voice of peace, tolerance, and compassion for the millions who follow and support him. Still considered a dangerous threat by China, he’s been exiled from Tibet for 55 years.
Earlier in June, he released a statement on his web site marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown saying, "I offer my prayers for those who died for freedom, democracy, and human rights.” His message was denounced by China’s government.
The Dalai Lama may be its most relentless target, but China is adept at banning people. Brad Pitt (for his performance in the 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet), Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Björk (for their support of Tibet), and Martin Scorsese (for directing the film Kundun about the life of the Dalai Lama) have all been outlawed from China.