Giving it a go – eradicating religion and its influence

Eradicating all religions apart from “open” state-sanctioned ones is part of an “ambitious new effort” in China, according to a recent Associated Press (AP) investigation.

AP found churches in China being shut down, Bibles being seized and restrictions being placed on a number of religions.

Crescents have been removed from mosques. Tibetan children have been removed from Buddhist temples and sent to public schools.

A Christian described Chinese officials interrupting a church meeting and telling everyone to leave. They ordered church leaders to remove a cross, a Bible verse and a painting of the Last Supper.

The investigation also heard Chinese authorities have shut down hundreds of Christian house churches, forced e-commerce retailers to stop selling Bibles, prevented children from attending church in some areas, and urged Christians in one location to replace posters of Jesus with pictures of President Xi Jinping.

AP says it found under President Xi that Christians “are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival.”

Xi is “waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982,” investigators say.

His goal is to “Sinicize” the nation’s religions with “Chinese characteristics” – the most important of which is loyalty to the Communist Party.

“Xi is a closet Maoist — he is very anxious about thought control,” Willy Lam of the Chinese University of Hong Kong told AP.

“He definitely does not want people to be faithful members of the church, because then people would profess their allegiance to the church rather than to the party, or more exactly, to Xi himself.”

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News category: World.

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