China: Xi Jinping ramps up religious persecution

Over the past decade, rash optimism that China was finally moving past the era of former Communist dictator Mao Tse-tung’s influence has given way to president Xi Jinping’s reconsolidating his power.

One of the major ways he’s done that: persecuting religious believers.

Demanding psychological submission to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), teachers in China are feeding school-age children intensely anti-Christian propaganda, building on the new Regulations on Religious Affairs that ban anyone under the age of 18 from entering a church.

Bitter Winter, an Italy-based publication reporting on Chinese persecution of religious groups, published anonymous accounts of children returning home from school and chastising parents for their faith.

Their kids are told that Christianity is a “xie jiao” (Chinese for “cult”) and that if they love their parents, they will warn them not to participate.

“If you believe in it, you will leave home and not take care of me. You might set yourself on fire, too,” one young boy told his mother.

In his textbook titled “Morality and Society,” his mother found lessons on how to resist the xie jiao.

She began hiding any religious symbols in her house, reports Bitter Winter, but one day she accidentally left out a religious pamphlet.

Her son proceeded to take a knife from the kitchen, aggressively stabbing it several times.

Chinese policy dictates that anyone holding religious activities outside of a church will be arrested.

That means no church camps, no Bible studies, no youth groups, no orphanages, no Church-run health clinics, and since 2017, police have begun disrupting funerals for any faith, including native Taoists, Catholic News Agency reported.

It’s all part of the Xi Jinping government’s hard-line approach to religious issues.

“There’s only one allowed religion in China, and that’s secular socialism,”

Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, tells National Review.

“And the Church is the community party, the acolytes, its members, and their pontiff, Chinese president Xi Jinping himself.”

Mosher, author of Bully of Asia, explains that the Chinese officials do not simply want to contain Christianity; they ultimately want to eradicate it.

They see human rights as a Western plot to subvert their control of the country, centered on the growing cult of personality around Xi Jinping.

This is referred to as China’s campaign to “sinicize” religion, meaning that all citizens must convincingly profess their ultimate loyalty to the Communist Party — or else.

For those who resist, the consequences can be horrifying. Continue reading

News category: Analysis and Comment.

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