China launches crackdown on Christianity to invent new version « Khabarhub
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China launches crackdown on Christianity to invent new version

07 June 2021  

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KATHMANDU: Wary of  the recent growing number of Christians in the country, the Chinese government has launched a crackdown on the Christian followers in China.

The Chinese government has been keeping close tabs on the activities of Christians putting a ban on the  Christianity in the country, The Washington Times reported.

The arrest and secret trial of four Chinese Christians for selling audio Bibles in December 2020 in Shenzhen, China is the latest illustration of how serious the communist government of China is on stamping out Christianity in the country.

The four Chinese face jail terms of up to five years. A fifth Chinese Christian, the owner of a company that produced and sold digital Bible players, also faces a similar prison time, according to the news.

Under the sinicization of religion policy of Mr. Xi, the authorities have since 2018 launched a “crusade” to keep Chinese Christians at home and away from churches and pastors. Thousands of churches have been either closed or demolished or transformed into offices, the report said.

But the biggest anti-Christian campaign the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has launched relates to a literal ban on the Bible. Anyone carrying a Bible faces immediate arrest and a jail term.

With the decision, the people cannot print the Bible, nor can they record it onto CDs or publish it on the Internet. Meanwhile, the CCP encourages people to spy on Christians to identify those who might be hiding or illegally storing Bibles.

The CCP also did the unthinkable— bringing out the Communist version of a portion of the Bible. In 2019 the government declared it would bring out an official, communist translation of the Bible as part of an exercise of evaluating all religious texts to look for content that does not conform to communist ideology.

The newspaper reports the punch line thusly: “The textbook version, however, states: ‘When the crowd disappeared, Jesus stoned the sinner to death saying, I, too, am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead’.”

Catholics in China rose as one in protest, but to no avail. They petitioned the Vatican to intervene, but it refused to do so. Incidentally, and ironically, the Vatican around the same time decided to renew its controversial deal with China in which China formally recognizes the authority of the pope within the Roman Catholic Church and his final say over China’s bishops and in return the Vatican recognizes the legitimacy of the bishops previously appointed by the Chinese government but ex-communicated by the church.

President Xi Jinping is expected to bring in policies to further target Christians just as the Uighur and Hui Muslims are being robbed of their religion. While the Muslims are being forced to erase everything — culture, language, rituals and custom — including religion, Chinese Christians are being spared all that; they will be eventually forced to follow Christianity as interpreted by the Communist Party.

Mr. Xi was behind a document released by China’s state administration for religious affairs that said the biggest task in the field of religion is to promote “Chinese-style Christianity and theology” by re-interpreting the Bible. This document, “Principle for Promoting Chinese Christianity in China for the Next Five Years (2018-2022),” was launched in Nanjing in 2018.  Mr. Xi may come up with the next phase of sinicization next year.

In late 2020 that Mr. Xi was wary of the growing Christian population in China, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Journal article read: “From an estimated three million believers at the end of the Cultural Revolution, the number of Protestants in China is now believed to exceed 100 million, with another 10 million to 12 million Catholics.”

Is that at the root of President Xi’s fear of Christianity? He himself is tight-lipped on the issue. His thoughts can only be interpreted through his government’s anti-Christian actions. The Wall Street Journal says this fear is not an isolated fear.

China’s rulers witnessed how “the strong example of Pope John Paul II contributed to the collapse of communism in Poland.” They were aghast at the role “South Korean Christians played in that country’s transition to democracy.”

In recent times, Chinese authorities were angered by the “local Christians’ prominent role in the Hong Kong democracy movement.” Mr. Xi appears determined to “correct” the wrongs in a hurry.

(With inputs from  The Washington Times)

Publish Date : 07 June 2021 14:06 PM

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