Picture shows : Cong Chu, 31. putting the phone in the donation box.
Monks at this Buddhist temple in China were unimpressed when a man tried to make an offering of his new iPhone 6.
Instead of gratitude the monks had opened the collection box, taken out the almost brand-new phone and handed it back to red-faced Cong Chu, 31.
He had gone with his girlfriend and friends to visit the Buddhist temple in Foshan city in southern China’s Guangdong province.
He told local media the contacted him after the snap of his offspring went viral that he had not meant it to be insulting.
He said: “I was told that if you get there you can get prosperity and good fortune for the coming year, and as it was a holiday anyway and by girlfriend was going decided to tag along.
“I didn’t realise that we were expected to make an offering of something valuable and only had a few small denomination notes on me. I didn’t want to offend anyone, or embarrass my girlfriend, so I decided to donate iPhone which was worth a good few hundred pounds as it was brand-new.
“But after one of his group took a picture of him making the unorthodox donation, he was spotted by a monk hurried over and open the collection box, handing the mobile phone back.”
Ministry spokesman Hui Ho said: “We informed him that we only accept cash donations which are used for the maintenance of the temple and the everyday expenses of the monks. In any case, they don’t have smart phones and know how to use them.”
After taking the phone back, the man had handed over all of the notes he had on him and apologised to the monks.
The image that went viral on local social media networks attracted widespread criticism of the man, with people saying it lacked respect, and accused of treating the idea of religion as a joke.
One wrote: “How can anyone be so ignorant, and offer something that represents exactly what monks are campaigning against urging people to be more in touch with their spiritual side.”