Christmas with Chinese characteristics – The Sunday Guardian Live
London: All over the world, Christians celebrated Christmas and other denominations shared the happy holidays. Catholics and Protestants have been free to follow their scriptures as far as they choose, religious or family traditions have been observed, including reserving your space in smaller churches in the UK so that distancing social can be observed. HM Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Church of England, gave a memorable speech on the precious seasonal routines passed down from generation to generation and updated for the changing times. But keep a thought for Christians in China where there are restrictions, prohibitions, limits, and commandments on how to celebrate the birth of Christ, where the growing sinicization of Christianity is the norm. The CCP’s Christmas message was not a goodwill greeting for all mankind but an agitprop for “Xi Jinping’s Thought.” The extraordinary greetings / statements from the CPC State Religious Affairs Administration (SARA), a department under the State Council for Religious Affairs, to “Friends of Catholicism and Christianity” referred to the “Nine Imperatives. »Necessary for the realization of the second centenary. purpose, policy and instructions for implementing Christianity with Chinese characteristics, which include “love the holiday, love the country and love socialism”. This branch of “Xi Jinping Thought,” in which “ideological and political awareness has recently been enhanced,” was first broadcast at the SARA National Conference on Religious Work in December, which focused on future education (re-education) and work of the Chinese Church approved by the CCP which emphasizes / insists on patriotism. Indeed, the Washington-based NGO International Christian Concern (ICC) found that since 2018 “All state-approved churches are required to hoist the national flag, promote the Chinese Constitution and other laws, follow regulations on worship, preach core socialist values and promote Chinese culture traditions. ”Since then, the ICC’s latest“ Persecution Incident Report: China ”has uncovered 14 cases of sinization, found that structures non-compliant religious were searched and Christian symbols demolished, pastors and congregation members arrested, often denied due process because their trials are not transparent or open to the public, and many have not been heard from since their disappearance.
The ICC reports that state-registered churches are at the mercy of laws that have been passed in total contradiction to the Constitution and enforced by several departments, offices and agencies that use them to suppress internal church activities, a church bookstore was forced to display Mao’s Little Red Book of Zedong instead of the Bible. The CCP’s Religious Affairs Administration also ordered Christians to study President Xi’s book and memorize his speeches. Churches have been turned into centers of socialist propaganda and many have been closed.
Bitter Winter, a religious freedom and human rights magazine, published a secret document leaked from Guangxi with “directives from the top government,” one of a series he said was sent. to different provinces and regions. The translated document asks “primary schools and kindergartens to ensure that students and teachers do not celebrate Christmas”, whether at school or at home. The document says that Christmas, a western holiday, is detrimental to traditional Chinese culture, there are a number of celebrants to report. It seems that the secretary general wanted an additional removal of religious content online, so SARA has just decreed that the regulation of religious information services on the Internet must comply with the Constitution. From March 1, 2022, under the guise of protecting the legality, stopping illegality, containing extremism, resisting infiltration and fighting crime, the state services for religious affairs will oversee and manage the religious information services on the Internet in accordance with the law. The so-called five permitted religions, Protestant Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam, and Taoism, must acquire a religious information service license on the Internet in order to share anything, and only on their own. websites, not social media. The criteria for obtaining such a license are forensic and what is allowed to be shared must comply with eleven stipulations. Fundraising and religious imagery are prohibited and no religious activity may be organized or performed on the Internet; religious ceremonies such as worshiping Buddha, burning incense, ordination, chanting, worshiping, mass and baptism cannot be streamed live or recorded as text, images , audio and video. Cybersecurity, national security departments and “public bodies” will be involved in reviewing the new regulations. Belief and worship is something the CCP cannot control, it can give 38 million Protestant Christians and 165 million mixed faiths courage and confidence to challenge authoritarianism, it makes the Central Committee vulnerable, they do not want no religious expression or influence in China.
What a contrast to India where Saint Luke’s Church in Srinagar has completed its restoration and has been reopened for prayers; and in Kerala when Christmas carols from St George’s Syrian Orthodox Church resumed their annual welcome at the Thrikkannamangal Sri Krishnaswami Temple.