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…  

Iraq: Impressive Christian Response…

crucifixion2Iraqi militants seized control Thursday of the country’s largest Christian city — reportedly telling its residents to leave, convert or die — while members of another religious minority remained trapped on a mountain without enough food or water, circumstances that fueled calls for the U.S. and U.N. to get more involved.  Read more

Comment

It’s been impressive to see Christians interviewed on TV saying they would not give up their Faith even under threat of death in Iraq. It’s, in a way, little short of amazing to witness this at the present time of deep crisis in the Church.  Your thoughts welcome…  

Media Silence: Christians Persecuted in Iraq – Not That You’d Ever Guess…

Christians-Flee-Islamic-Threats-316x237The plight of Christians and other minority groups in northern Iraq has taken a turn for the worse, according to reports, as thousands fleeing regions controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have been robbed of their possessions at ISIS checkpoints.

ISIS, a Sunni extremist group that advocates Islamic Shariah law, is reportedly persecuting Christians in Iraq, forcing them to flee their homes in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, even as Muslims in Baghdad showed solidarity with persecuted Christians by joining them in symbolic protests across the city. Mosul is one of the holiest cities of Christianity in the Middle East and the ancient churches of Mosul are some of Christianity’s oldest.

At a rally in Baghdad, many Christians who arrived in the city after fleeing the violence of ISIS in the north held up signs that read, “I am Iraqi, I am Christian.” They were joined by Muslims expressing solidarity with the Christian community, also holding up the same signs, a report said.

ISIS reportedly issued an ultimatum to Mosul’s Christians ending Friday, to either convert to Islam, or pay the Islamic tax for non-Muslims known as jizya, or leave Mosul. However, a day before the city’s minority communities fled, ISIS took away the option of paying the tax and staying back, reports said. 

“The world must act, speak out, consider human rights,” Bishop Shlemon Wardooni of the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch and head of Iraq’s largest churchsaid on Sunday, adding that the Iraqi state was weak and divided and Muslim leaders had remained silent. “We haven’t heard from clerics from all sects or from the government,” he told Reuters.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, on Sunday, condemned the treatment of Mosul’s Christians, saying it showed “the extreme criminality and terrorist nature of ISIS” while U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said ISIS actions were akin to “a crime against humanity.”

Pope Francis, in his weekly public prayers on Sunday, said: “I learned with great concern the news that came from the Christian communities in Mosul. Today they are persecuted. Our brothers are persecuted. They’ve been driven away. They must leave their homes without being able to take anything with them.”

On Sunday, about 200 Muslims attended the rally in Baghdad, with some marking themselves with the Arabic letter “N” for “Nazarene,” or Christian.

Christian leaders thanked Muslim supporters for standing up for their right to live in Iraq. “What gives us hope is a group of citizens – I do not want to say Muslims but they were Muslims – from Baghdad carrying slogans saying ‘I am Iraqi, I am Christian,’” Maysar Bahnam, a priest at Mar Korkis Catholic Church in Baghdad, told Al Arabiya. “They prayed in solidarity with us, saying that we are people from this land.”

On Twitter, hashtags such as #WeAreN and #IamNasrani served to share news and pictures of the plight of Iraqi Christians, and for helping organize support demonstrations.

Families leaving from the checkpoints on the eastern side of the city were reportedly harassed and robbed of their possessions. People also reported that money, jewelry and documents were taken from them, while the Daily Beast reported that women had crucifixes torn from their necks. Christian families and church leadership were among the last of Mosul’s minority communities such as Shabak, Shia, Yezidi, Turkmen and Kurds to leave the city, according to reports.

Comment

It seems odd that this savage persecution of Christians is not all over the news here in the UK. Isn’t it?  

Vatican Persecution of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate: Diabolical Disorientation – With Bells On…

Image …In yet another hypocritical and unjust move, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz of the Congregation of Religious put the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate under Apostolic Visitation (investigation) as of May 19, 2014.  According to the Pray4TheFriars blogsite:

The general house located near Frattocchie (Rome area) is now ‘chaired’ by Sr. Fernanda Barbiero – Institute of Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothea. I don’t have exact infos on her stances, but at a first glance and for what I read from her, she seems moderately progressive-leaning. Whilst Sr. Fernanda has just a visiting tenure, it seems she’s been provided with vast power to rule the Order.

The Sisters’ crime? According to Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, who is currently busy destroying the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, the Sisters are guilty of a “distorted mentality.”

 Why? Undoubtedly due to the same complaint against the Friars: a “crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift” in the community. In other words, the Sisters are being investigated because they assist at the Traditional Mass and are suspected of adhering to the Traditional Faith. Thus, being Catholic is now apparently dangerous, subversive, and “crypto-lefebvrian” to the Congregation of Religious.

Fr. Volpi had already desired the investigation of the Sisters ever since they had the audacity to publicly refute his spurious accusations against them. Now, with this latest move of Cardinal Aviz, Fr. Volpi gets his wish.  Read more…  

Comment

What is going on? Are there so few dissident religious sisters around that the Apostolic Visitors need to keep busy by  placing a perfectly faithful Order of Sisters under what amounts to investigation?  Or is it a case of the hatred of the true Faith, which constitutes the diabolical disorientation raging in the Church right now, reaching a new low?  

Click here to check out the discussion we had way back in January when the Vatican persecution of the Franciscan friars began, and then share your thoughts about this growing persecution of what appears to be a model religious order.

The Prophecies of Sister Elena Aliello…

ImageGOOD FRIDAY — 1961

The Sorrowful Madonna speaks: “People pay no attention to my motherly warnings, and thus the world is falling headlong evermore into an abyss of iniquity. Nations shall be convulsed by terrible disasters, causing destruction and death.

“Russia, spurred on by Satan, will seek to dominate the whole world and, by bloody revolutions, will propagate her false teachings throughout all the nations, especially in Italy. The Church will be persecuted and the Pope and the priests shall suffer much.”

Sister Elena Aiello speaks: “Oh, what a horrible vision I see! A great revolution is going on in Rome! They are entering the Vatican. The Pope is all alone; he is praying. They are holding the Pope. They take him by force. They knock him down to the floor. They are tying him. Oh, God! Oh God! They are kicking him. What a horrible scene! How dreadful!”

“Our Blessed Mother is drawing near. Like corpses those evil men fall down to the floor. Our Lady helps the Pope to his feet and, taking him by the arm, she covers him with her mantle saying: ‘Fear not!’

“Flagstaffs (flying the Red flag over St. Peter’s dome and elsewhere) collapse, and power is gone out of the clubs of those evil brutes. These atheists are ever shouting: ‘We don’t want God to rule over us; we want Satan to be our master!’

Our Blessed Mother speaks again: “My daughter, Rome will not be saved, because the Italian rulers have forsaken the Divine Light and because only a few people really love the Church. But the day is not far off when all the wicked shall perish, under the tremendous blows of Divine Justice.” 

———————————  

In April 2011, Pope Benedict XVI approved the petition allowing for the Beatification of Venerable Elena Aiello. She was declared Blessed on September 14, 2011 (Feast of the Exaultation of the Holy Cross) at 17.30 in Piazza dei Bruzi in Cosenza, Italy. The proclamation of the Blessed was made by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, along with Archbishop of Cosenza/Bisignano, His Excellency Salvatore Source – click to read entire article.

Comment

Are these prophecies, which are so clearly complementary to the Fatima prophecies, coming true before our very eyes?

Is the Vatican Persecuting The Franciscans of the Immaculate?

Image(Rome) “It takes a permit.” A letter from a Franciscan of the Immaculate describes the life  subject to approval, that the brothers have to lead,  since they were placed under provisional administration.

In 1990,  the Order was  recognized  at the diocesan level and 1998  by Rome, the Order internally moved from the Old Rite  under Pope Benedict XVI. f  to the Old Rite and  for pastoral care it was specified by the Pope as bi-ritual, since 11 July 2013 it has been under provisional administration by the Congregation of Religious. Acting Administrator is the Capuchin Father, Fidenzio Volpi, “a skilled and proven man of power (who  is known to move  between the internal equilibria of the Superior Conference of Male Religious Communities of  Italy – CISM ), with mephistophelian smile and biting repartee, ”  said Messa in Latino .

“We Are no Longer  Able to Print and Disseminate Our Own Books”

The Franciscan of the Immaculate Conception described in his letter that he passed by  the office of Order internal publishing,  Casa Mariana, in Frigento recently. “My heart beat. I felt in me an unusual emptiness and dismay at the thought that we can no longer write for our own publishing house, and are not even allowed to distribute the books of our own publishing company in our convents.

I look at the house. In there are our books. Many of them we have written, and much more contributions to our religious journals: Fides Catholica , Annales Franciscani , Immculata Mediatrix … Many books have been translated by us from  Latin, others we have from Italian, the language most used in the order, translated into other languages. 

That is our life inside, years of study, sweat and sacrifice. The Apostolic Commissioner has ruled that we are no longer authorized to use them. What sin do they represent?

“But it Needs a Permit”

I took courage and rang the bell at the door. A sister opens and I ask her about the new liturgical calendar of the Order, because we didn’t have one in the monastery. 

“I cannot give you one Father, you know that it requires a permit,” replied my sister, kind and understanding. 

What could be sinful about a liturgical calendar? 

“But it needs a permit.” 

Exactly the permit. 

Whose? 

“From the Apostolic Commissioner of course!”

 “Our Life is Made by Applications, Special Permits'”

Since we have been under provisional administration, our life is governed by applications for “special permits” to the Commissioner. You are to provide  a copy in writing  and are granted permission only by expressed personal validation .

A permit is needed to use the books of the Order from the Order’s  own publishing house and be able to impart them. Any “public dissemination” is prohibited. 

A  permit is required to celebrate the Holy Mass in the traditional Rite. 

A permit is required to use the Roman Ritual for the Old Rite. 

A permit is required for the Liturgy of the Hours to celebrate it in the Vetus Ordo. 

A  permit is required to celebrate the Holy Mass with the Sisters of the Order, for both the Old and the New Rite. 

A permit is required to conduct a meeting of the lay community of the Order or of the Third Order. 

A permit is required  to carry out a “Day for Maria” (a day of prayer, which is performed by the Order on pilgrimage or in parish churches and is open to all). 

A  permit is required to visit our Founder. It is strongly advised not to make such a request at all, which is actually not approved anyway. 

A permit is required for any initiative in the Order.

Even more permits are needed of the founders of religious orders: 

“Our Founder even needs explicit permission to be treated at the hospital. He needs an explicit authorization in order to move from one convent to another. He was blamed on the official website of the Order publicly for the fact that he had at first dared to visit the convent of Teramo. In reality, the Apostolic Commissioner had even given the permission to do so.” A grueling guerrilla warFor source, click photo