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China's Christians
Chinese Communists Losing the War Against Christianity

The East China province of Zhejiang is home to the city of Wenzhou, known as the “Jerusalem of China” for the large numbers of Christians who live there. It’s also the area where local officials have launched a crackdown on Christians, taking down crosses from the tops of churches or even demolishing the churches themselves. As unrest over these measures continues, the Chinese government says it is removing crosses for “safety and beauty” reasons. The Guardian reports:

An official from Zhejiang’s ethnic and religious affairs bureau told the state-run Global Times newspaper the government had “merely relocated the crosses out of safety concerns”.

“Generally speaking, the church staff and people are very supportive [of the removals],” the official added.

… So that’s all right, then.

In fact, Chinese Christians are not happy about the removals—the Guardian reported on street protests against them only last Friday. And when you look at the growth of Christianity in the country, you can see why officials are so uneasy about it. The article estimates that there are now more Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party.  Chinese officials are trying increasingly desperate measures in their crackdown:

The “anti-church” campaign took an unusual turn this week after claims that officials had deployed groups of incense-burning Buddhist monks to “provoke” Christians who were trying to defend their cross.

“We are Protestant Christians, so by sending monks to chant sutras they were trying to get us riled up,” a member of one Zhejiang church told Radio Free Asia, a US-funded news website.

The Christian added: “They were trying to make us angry so that we would retaliate against them. They think that anyone who opposes the government is a traitor, or someone trying to overturn the Communist party.”

Communists in China increasingly realize that the war against religion as such is a losing proposition, and are now looking to support “indigenous” Chinese religions and traditions—Confucianism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religions—against both Christianity and Islam, seen as dangerous imports with potentially destabilizing effects, and “new religions” like the cult of Falun Gong.

This turmoil over religion is one more sign that the cultural changes sweeping through post-Mao China are as dramatic and far reaching as the economic changes. Nobody, not even the Chinese government, knows where this great nation is headed or what lies before it.

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  • Dhako

    Walter,

    Still hoping that China will collapse out of it’s own peculiar contradiction. Well, I assure you China knows what they are doing unlike the dysfunctional Washington’s political scene, in which Dems and GOP, are essentially the early stages of a civil-war, in which the fate of the republic doesn’t get a look at all. And, if you doubt that, then, ask the how quickly the the GOP will stage their next hostage-taking of America’s budget or shut-down the government itself, particularly when Hillary wins the presidency in 2017, and, as day follows a night propose a tax-increase for the GOP’s billionaires funders, such as Koch brothers and others in Wall-Street.

    In other words, you may find it difficult to compute, but, I assure you that it’s US with it’s hollow-dream, whereby, the promise of US (as Hollywood told to most Americans), on one hand, and the pitiless facts starring the average American, which is that of increasing stagnation, is likely the nation that is candidate that will be the one to collapse out of it’s unattainable contradiction. And, we shall have that reality the next down turn, like the one in which 2008 financial crisis. Hence, the next bubble that could collapse, will essentially exposed the claim of the American’s dream and the reality of it, to many Americans, and their lies what will bring the curtains down in American’s unique contradictions.

    As for China’s christian, they of course, are carriers of a “foreign religion” (in the true sense of that word, when the Chinese civilization is defined in a religious terms), hence, it will behooves them to remember that. Also, the Chinese authorities are within their right to not allow those not registered with state, particularly the underground churches, to keep an eye on them, so that, no “American-funded evangelical outfit” who is out to propagate nonsense about China, should be given a quarter.

    In fact, if I have may way, I would designate any outfit, who is not registered with the state, as a “foreign agents”, which in turn, will mean, that their actions should be given not a benefit of the doubt, but, on the contrary, they should be the one who proves their preponderance of innocence. And, that should done, since we know, the Zero-Sum-Game competitions in which China and US are locked-in, means, China, must not allow a chink on her amour should be exposed for others to take advantage of.

    So, Walter, keep hoping for China’s implosion, like that Gordon Chang’s character, who makes many out of a gullible American, by telling them what sooths them, emotionally, such China is going to fall down any minute now. But, I assure, you in 10 years time, China will be here (with contradiction or without) and still going strong, with it’s state-led capitalism and it’s version of stock-market, in which the State’s daily intervention is the norm that guides it. While, on the other hand, we will be talking about the next phase of US’s inherent parties-inspired dysfunctionalities in which politics becomes no quarter-given blood sport, whereby the nation still is at standstill. So, lets put our political bets, accordingly.

    • ImperiumVita

      Thou doth protest too much.

      • Dhako

        Not at all. And on the contrary, it could be said, that all I was doing was merely trying to educate our Walter away from his self-serving conceit about how others are coming to a cropper any minute now.

        Or perhaps to put it more palatable to others, let say, I was trying to present a “counter-argument” to what seems to be a tendentious arguments in which someone who seems to have gulped inordinate amount of “Koolaid” about US’s exceptional-ism is, like our Walter, could only come up with. Particularly the problem others face in their domestic setting, without at all noticing the pitiful political sight which is that of the US’s decade old dysfunctions in Washington and what will mean for US’s financial and political ability, going forward.

        Hence, to use an old biblical proverb, my argument to Walter, could be read as:

        “….Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

        • Tom

          Keep whistling, mac. That graveyard’s longer than you think.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The Chinese government would be wise to learn the real differences between Islam and Christianity. Then they would know what is dangerous to their country and what is not.

  • http://www.librarything.com/profile/Bretzky1 Brett Champion

    China’s leaders aren’t so much concerned that their people are becoming more religious or that Christianity and Islam are not native Chinese religions; they are concerned that religions in general tend to sprout civil society organizations that are out of the control of the government. The CPC is trying to limit the degree to which Chinese feel that they have the right to organize in large groups without the permission of the state.

  • Word

    Just wondering why China is referred to as a great nation? Is it because it is a large nation? The nation is a communist dictatorship who robs and terrorizes it’s citizens.

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