China & Increasing Religious Persecution: Christian Symbols Banned In Homes…

In order to receive social welfare payments, citizens in several Chinese towns have to replace religious symbols with images of Chinese Communist Party leaders.

BEIJING, China, July 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Several towns in China are using their citizens’ status as social welfare recipients as a pretext to prohibit them from having Christian symbols in their homes. Anybody refusing to comply with the local government, and thus the governing Chinese Communist Party, would no longer be financially supported by the state.

“The government is trying to eliminate our belief and wants to become God instead of Jesus,” one Christian preacher told Bitter Winter, a magazine dedicated to reporting on human rights and religious freedom in China.

City officials were ordered “to remove crosses, religious symbols and images from the homes of people of faith who receive social welfare payments and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping,” wrote Bitter Winter.

One member of a Christian church recounted how city officials raided his house, tearing down all religious symbols and replacing them with a portrait of Chinese communist founding father Mao Zedong. “Impoverished religious households can’t receive money from the state for nothing—they must obey the Communist Party for the money they receive,” the person explained.

According to Bitter Winter, “The policy is being implemented in other localities across China.” In one locality, officials canceled “a disabled Christian’s minimum living subsidy and a monthly disability allowance of [roughly $14].”

His wife commented, “Officials told me that we would be treated as anti-Party elements if my husband and I continued attending worship services.”

“A Christian from Weihui city in the central province of Henan has been taking care of her two sons by herself after her husband died unexpectedly more than ten years ago,” Bitter Winter wrote. “She started receiving a minimum living allowance from the state in 2016. In early April, a village official ordered the woman to sign a statement renouncing her faith and destroy all Christian symbols in her house. Since she refused, her allowance was canceled.”

China is well-known for persecuting Christians, as well as other religious and ethnic minorities. In June, the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2019 dedicated 115 pages to China alone.

As the report points out, the Chinese constitution guarantees “freedom of religious belief but limits protections for religious practice to ‘normal religious activities’ and does not define ‘normal.’”

The report’s section on China lists countless examples of Catholics and other Christians being attacked for their faith by the government.

Father Paul Zhang, for example, was taken into custody after he “had refused to join the government-run [Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association]. According to AsiaNews, authorities stopped Zhang’s car, smashed the window, and beat him before taking him away. Another man in the car was also beaten but not taken into custody. Fifteen days prior to this event, police had raided a house in which Zhang was leading Mass. His whereabouts were unknown at year’s end.”

One year ago in July, “the Central Institute of Socialism in Fujian Province organized a course on the work of the Catholic Church in the province.”

Several dozen priests who are members of the state-run imitation of the Catholic Church participated. “The lessons and activities centered on the theme of ‘guiding the Catholic Church to follow a path conforming to socialist society.’ AsiaNews noted the course seemed to focus almost entirely on political doctrine with very little mention of Christian teachings.”

The report also mentioned Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former bishop of Hong Kong, and his criticism of the secret deal between the Vatican and the communist Chinese government.   

“Similar to the previous year, neither side provided details of the provisional agreement, such as how the Holy See and the government would make decisions regarding appointment of bishops,” the report pointed out.

Paradoxically, Chinese bishop Vincenzo Guo Xijin, “an underground bishop recognized by the Holy See, remained in a subordinate position under Bishop Zhan Silu, who was originally ordained without Holy See approval. The Holy See had previously excommunicated Zhan, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, but in December 2018 allowed him to replace Guo as bishop of the Mindong Diocese in Fujian Province.”

“Zhan was one of the seven individuals whom the Holy See recognized as bishops under the 2018 provisional agreement,” the report added. “Police had detained Guo, who had been appointed by the Holy See, earlier in 2018 for his refusal to jointly lead Easter services with Zhan, who at the time was not recognized by the Holy See.”

Zen recently commented on the fact that Pope Francis, on July 5, chose not to speak out regarding the tensions between China and Hong Kong, even though the prepared remarks given to journalists beforehand contained a passage on that very issue.

“I have seen the text, which is very mild, in no way offensive to the Chinese government,” the cardinal pointed out. “Some say maybe the Holy Father thought it was better not to say [something], or some say he may have received some word from the Chinese Embassy in Italy.”

“It’s not an isolated episode,” he clarified. “It’s already a long-standing policy of the Vatican not to offend the Chinese government.”   Source

Comment…

We, in the UK, are marching towards totalitarian government;  reflect on how quickly – almost overnight –  the populations of the four nations fell into line, unquestioningly obeying the Government’s restrictions on our civil and religious liberties, and all in the name of a virus which is harmless to the majority of those who become infected.   So, it doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility that we will – perhaps very soon – face the kind of further intrusion into our religious liberty that is normal in China.  For us, of course, it would be “the new normal” – like being “masked up” in shops and on public transport. Indefinitely. That’s how the “new normal” becomes …well… normal.  Permanent. 

 If, therefore, we find the screws on our religious freedom tightening further, all as part of the “new normal”, where would we look for help? Clearly not the Vatican, not under the present pontiff.  And the ongoing co-operation of the clergy with the Government’s control of the Church suggests that the laity can go whistle if we expect any fightback from that quarter.  Or is this a worry too far?  Conspiracy theory territory?    It is happening in China, all right, but here? Never. But remember, at one time the only people we saw on our TV screens wearing face masks were Chinese people living in… Communist China.  Just a thought…  

18 responses

  1. Cardinal Zen says that It’s already ” long standing policy (of Pope Francis) not to offend the Chinese government” Surely this has something to do with ‘the agreement’ and Theodore McCarrick who spent so much time in China. What was he doing there? That’s why we are waiting for so long for the McCarrick report. They are making it up.

    I fear he was making plans for the Communist China to be the umbrella for the entire Catholic Church. Under the bus with all of us. If he did it to China without blinking his eyes, he’ll do it again. Francis gave up the title of Vicar of Christ and his passport was changed to a simple Jorge Bergoglio. Francis is a Marxist too. Just like XiPing and Mao. I think he will be the leader of (so called) religion in the New World Order. He has been harping at us “funeral face” people of tradition ever since he started with the advice that Catholics don’t have to propagate like bunnies He hates us old fashioned traditional people. We are in his way! Just like Trump is in the world’s way! Just thoughts! I’m sorry for your worries. I don’t think the US is very far behind you. Our President Trump is in their way and needs prayers big time.

    • Mary Anne,

      Pope Francis is just the last pope we need at a time like this, but neither he nor his shocking policies will last.

      Thankfully, there are heroes within the Catholic community in China, who will fight the Government.

    • Mary Anne,

      It’s been the long-standing policy of those in control of the Church, since Vatican II, not to offend heretics, schismatics and various enemies of the Church, hence the inoffensive Novus Ordo Mass and the pretend detente with China (which was a payoff to a cash-hungry pontificate).

      • So true, RCA! They take every opportunity to offend the ‘peasants’ (us) with name calling and hurtful behavior such as parading that ugly idol down the aisle of Our basilica … flaunting their heresy in our faces, however. Never before in history. Time for a Catholic Rising!

  2. Already, the rules on face masks are tightening in England – with an emphasis on the fact that it’s not the shop owners who will enforce these rules; it’s for the police to do that.
    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/coronavirus/face-masks-to-become-compulsory-in-takeaways-as-government-tightens-law/ar-BB174ir3?ocid=msedgntp

    I already know of two people in my own circle who have been quizzed at a local shop (Glasgow) for not wearing a mask and one who was approached by a police officer at Waverley Station in Edinburgh.

    Just as with the neuro-linguistic programming (stay home/protect the NHS/save lives) we are being conditioned to live in a police state – like, let’s see now… Oh yes, China

  3. I think it’s obvious that no matter how tight the screws become, very few people will resist the march of totalitarianism in the UK, and definitely not in Scotland. The more tyrannical Nicola Sturgeon is, the better her poll ratings!

    If the Government decides that religious symbols are dangerous in some way, possibly carrying the virus, LOL! they will have to go and the clergy will comply. If that American priest who called the cops on his parishioner for non wearing a mask in church is anything to go by, any Catholic who insists on keeping a crucifix on the wall will also find themselves getting a visit from the cops, following a call from their parish priest. Nothing surprises me any more.

    • Lily,

      It’s a sad fact of life now that nothing about the clergy surprises any of us any more. I could write a book but let me not be over humble about this – I could write the best-seller!

  4. City officials raiding houses? Gangs beating up priests and taking them from their cars? Once again, Communist Chinese tactics are being used not only to address the scam-demic, but to cleanse societies from incorrect thought, esp. incorrect religious thought.

    The gang of Antifa thugs attacking Tucker Carlson’s house, while he was out, comes to mind. Not to mention the latest Antifa thug incident in Denver, where a pro-police rally was disrupted by these Communists, on stage no less, and several people badly beat up. Unfortunately for the thugs, among those they chose to beat up was Michelle Malkin, a popular conservative voice and a very feisty woman, who has now filed an Open Records Act Request with the Denver Police Department, whose cops stood by and let the beatings happen.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/07/michelle_malkin_demands_denver_cops_accountability_for_not_protecting_propolice_rally_from_violent_attacks_by_blmantifamarxist_mob.html

    The USA may be a few locksteps behind the UK, but the errors of Russia have officially overtaken the West, which apparently was ripe for the fall.

    • RCA Victor,

      I watched, open mouthed this morning, as the Mayor of Portland (I think?) was interviewed on the news, complaining about Donald Trump sending in Federal troops to restore order, while thugs burned the place down. Wearing his face-mask, hilariously for health protection (while, to all appearances, he was risking his life just standing there), as all around him said thugs were lighting fires and causing havoc, he solemnly called out the President for his interference, claiming that he was thus attacking the Constitutional right to protest…

      Protest? Is the man completely mad?

      I wonder if a group of pro-lifers did the same thing, would he call it a “protest”… or criminal damage, with handcuffs flying all around. No question mark, because we all know the answer to that…

      • Editor,

        Portland has one of the largest infestations of the Communist Antifa thugs – you know, the brown shirt wing of the Democrat Party (which has been partying hearty since Trump’s election – it’s all “street theater,” dontcha know).

  5. From Divini Redemptoris (On Atheistic Communism), Encyclical of Pope Pius XI.

    Read below the penetrating insight of this holy Pope and see that what is happening openly in China today is a continuation of the same Communist agenda which has merely been adapted in Russia to the silent assassin method of cultural Marxism that has infiltrated every Western nation and now dominates our once-Christian cultures. There was a wholly different intention behind Gorbachev’s “Glasnost and Perestroika” than the world understood!

    Abortion, homosexuality, women’s rights and a host of other “equalities”, long championed by Communism, along with religious ecumenism (indifference to divine truth), have been imposed by law to eradicate God and the Christian family from the face of the earth. And we see the rage that is unleashed when someone like President Trump attempts to restore any semblance of that Christian culture to society, a rage manifested by the controlled media and orchestrated anarchy (urban warfare) in the streets.

    Trump alone has called out China for its criminality and brutality while all other nations, already long subjugated and sold out, have kept silent and are now obeying their Communist masters by participating in the greatest con ever perpetrated on humanity, the Covid-19 crisis, which has for its end a new totalitarian rule that will deprive every Living being in the free world permanently of their liberty and freedom under new State censorship and surveillance laws, while at the same time helping to establish Communist China as the new economic power in the world.

    That the supernatural war described by Pius XI is nearing the final battle between Our Lady and Satan is evident in the present Pope’s complicit silence while evil abounds. That a Successor of St. Peter would work with Communists in China against his own flock, not speaking out to denounce their persecution, and that he is so accommodating of other wicked manifestations of evil in the world, against which he weakly expresses either “sadness” or approval by “who am I to judge”, is proof positive that the Message and Secret of Fatima are now reaching a climax before our very eyes.

    We see the evil manifest now in the Church, the Spotless Bride of Christ, by bishops and priests everywhere complying with the Luciferian “new normal”, mocking Our Blessed Lord in His own House with their pathetic subservience to face masks, social distancing, sanitisers, etc, all of which are an insult to He who walked among lepers and cured the sick. These are men clearly lost to supernatural faith and holy zeal for souls.

    Our Lady’s triumph is not far off now, it will come suddenly and unexpectedly, for we know with certainty that evil will never win and she will crush the head of the serpent. It will happen when the evil rulers of this present darkness think they have succeeded. But woe betide every ordained priest who has insulted Our Lord in His own House by their fear and human respect, denying the Mass and sacraments to the faithful like good little puppets of their totalitarian Marxist masters in government.

    Here’s the Catholic voice, the true Catholic voice of the Good Shepherd!

    “If we would explain the blind acceptance of Communism by so many thousands of workmen, we must remember that the way had been already prepared for it by the religious and moral destitution in which wage-earners had been left by liberal economics. Even on Sundays and holy days, labour shifts were given no time to attend to their essential religious duties. No one thought of building churches within convenient distance of factories, nor of facilitating the work of the priest. On the contrary, laicism was actively and persistently promoted, with the result that we are now reaping the fruits of the errors so often denounced by Our Predecessors and by Ourselves. It can surprise no one that the Communistic fallacy should be spreading in a world already to a large extent de-Christianised.

    There is another explanation for the rapid diffusion of the Communistic ideas now seeping into every nation, great and small, advanced and backward, so that no corner of the earth is free from them. This explanation is to be found in a propaganda so truly diabolical that the world has perhaps never witnessed its like before. It is directed from one common centre. It is shrewdly adapted to the varying conditions of diverse peoples. It has at its disposal great financial resources, gigantic organisations, international congresses and countless trained workers. It makes use of pamphlets and reviews, of cinema, theatre and radio, of schools and even universities. Little by little it penetrates into all classes of people and even reaches the better-minded groups of the community, with the result that few are aware of the poison which increasingly pervades their minds and hearts.

    A third powerful factor in the diffusion of Communism is the conspiracy of silence on the part of a large section of the non-Catholic press of the world. We say conspiracy, because it is impossible otherwise to explain how a press usually so eager to exploit even the little daily incidents of life has been able to remain silent for so long about the horrors perpetrated in Russia, in Mexico and even in a great part of Spain; and that it should have relatively so little to say concerning a world organisation as vast as Russian Communism. This silence is due in part to short-sighted political policy, and is favoured by occult forces which for a long time have been working for the overthrow of the Christian social order.

    Meanwhile, the sorry effects of this propaganda are before our eyes. Where Communism has been able to assert its power – and here We are thinking with special affection of the people of Russia and Mexico – it has striven by every possible means, as its champions openly boast, to destroy Christian civilisation and the Christian religion by banishing every remembrance of them from the hearts of men, especially the young. Bishops and priests were exiled, condemned to forced labour, shot and done to death in inhuman fashion; laymen suspected of defending their religion were vexed, persecuted, dragged off to trial and thrown into prison.

    Even where the scourge of Communism has not yet had time enough to exercise to the full its logical effect, as witness Our beloved Spain, it has, alas, found compensation in the fiercer violence of its attack. Not only this or that church or isolated monastery was sacked, but as far as possible every church and every monastery was destroyed. Every vestige of the Christian religion was eradicated, even though intimately linked with the rarest monuments of art and science! The fury of Communism has not confined itself to the indiscriminate slaughter of Bishops, of thousands of priests and religious of both sexes; it searches out above all those who have been devoting their lives to the welfare of the working classes and the poor. But the majority of its victims have been laymen of all conditions and classes. Even up to the present moment, masses of them are slain almost daily for no other reason than the fact that they are good Christians or at least opposed to atheistic Communism. And this fearful destruction has been carried out with a hatred and a savage barbarity one would not have believed possible in our age. No man of good sense, nor any statesman conscious of his responsibility can fail to shudder at the thought that what is happening today in Spain may perhaps be repeated tomorrow in other civilised countries.

    Nor can it be said that these atrocities are a transitory phenomenon, the usual accompaniment of all great revolutions, the isolated excesses common to every war. No, they are the natural fruit of a system which lacks all inner restraint. Some restraint is necessary for man considered either as an individual or in society. Even the barbaric peoples had this inner check in the natural law written by God in the heart of every man. And where this natural law was held in high esteem, ancient nations rose to a grandeur that still fascinates – more than it should! – certain superficial students of human history. But tear the very idea of God from the hearts of men, and they are necessarily urged by their passions to the most atrocious barbarity.

    This, unfortunately, is what we now behold. For the first time in history we are witnessing a struggle, cold-blooded in purpose and mapped out to the least detail, between man and “all that is called God.” (Cf. 2 Thess. 2:4). Communism is by its nature anti-religious. It considers religion “the opiate of the people” because the principles of religion which speak of a life beyond the grave dissuade the proletariat from the dream of a Soviet paradise which is of this world…”

    • Athanasius,

      It didn’t take all that long for the clergy to become emasculated and effeminate, did it? By 1970, 33 years after this stirring Encyclical, it would seem that most of the shepherds had become wolves, pursuing and enforcing the Church’s version of “detente.”

      I don’t recall if Pius XI included these criteria elsewhere in this Encyclical, but I would propose that there are a few additional factors involved in the current, even wider, acceptance of Communism than he perceived:

      1. The blanketing of the earth with “entertainment,” gradually introducing into cultural bloodstreams the Luciferian thought system – and producing an addiction to it. So that when entertainment – which includes sports – is withdrawn under the pretext of a “pandemic,” fear is instilled that we are in the midst of something deadly.

      2. The incitement of envy to separate men into warring classes: employer vs. worker, capital vs. labor, rich vs. poor, native vs. immigrant, color vs. color, religion vs. religion vs. atheism, homosexual vs. heterosexual, etc. – so that the Communists can present their Utopian fake solution, in benevolent terms, to hide its depraved inhumanity.

      3. The contraction of “expertise” into certain associations and policy groups, like the American Medical Association and countless other professional associations and councils, the various teachers’ unions, etc. which can be infiltrated and taken over by those with the desired ideology. The Church even experienced this under Pius XII, when the Commission for Liturgical Reform was taken over by enemies of the Church, including its Secretary, Bugnini.

      Despite all this darkness, we should take hope that the Tower of Babel was “mapped out to the least detail” as well. And to use another analogy, the New World Order has been constructed like the Titanic – invincible, according to its PR, until….

  6. RCAVictor

    I think Pius XI did cover such associations of “expertise” in this sentence: “It has at its disposal great financial resources, gigantic organisations, international congresses and countless trained workers. It makes use of pamphlets and reviews, of cinema, theatre and radio, of schools and even universities.”

    To be fair though, during his reign there was no TV and no Internet. The development and subsequent hijacking of these weapons of mass destruction puts all other means into the shade.

    As for the apparent sudden collapse of the Catholic hierarchy from Vatican II onwards, I think the rot was well in before then. We know from Bella Dodd’s account that the seminaries were infiltrated by Communist agents as far back as the 1930s and 40. It makes sense to assume that a good many of these, the brightest minds the Communists could find, were quite senior in the hierarchy by the time Vatican II came around. We also know that St. Pius X had to fight a fairly tough battle against the Modernist forces in the clergy at the turn of the 20th century. What’s to say that a lot of these agitators were not Communists or at least their brothers in arms, the Freemasons.

    Our Lady set the date as 1960 for the release of the Third Secret precisely because she knew well that there were enemies in high places within the Church. Had the Pope and Bishops been faithful enough to trust her and respond humbly to her request, then these enemies would have been exposed and defeated. Of course we know that those enemies won the day, pulling out all the stops to prevent the Consecration of Russia with talk of the new Pentecost that man would create through Vatican II, and the rest is tragic history. The most pertinent sign that the KGB was active in the hierarchy during that Council was when the Pope was persuaded to cease any further condemnations of Communism. That was the equivalent of promising never again to condemn the devil and his works.

  7. The situation in China is truly dismal and the way it is escalating shows the open contempt the Chinese government has for Francis and the agreement made with him.

    The silence of the mainstream media on Christian persecution in China is matched by the silence of those responsible for the craven arrangement with the Chinese Government (Francis and Cardinal Parolin).

    Notably, the mainstream media does cover Chinese persecution of Uighur Muslims.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I have been wondering about the statistics since the media is focusing on the Ughur Muslims, giving the impression that they are the only religious group persecuted in China or the most persecuted, but Christians are the most persecuted of all, worldwide.

      Would you know the actual numbers, the statistics showing which groups are most persecuted in China, in what numbers?

      • Laura,

        That is an interesting point – I’ve noticed that the TV news speaks only for a particular group of Muslims (could never quite grasp the name) with never any mention of the longstanding persecution of Christians. Some statistics would, indeed, be interesting.

        • Editor

          They devil and his cohorts know full well that Christianity is the true religion, hence the reason why all persecution of Chirsitans in the world is utterly silenced while persecution of other religions is highlighted. It gives the appearance of concern for freedom of religion while silencing the persecution of the only one that matters. Communists are very clever, demonically so!

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