There’s little or no freedom of religion for Chinese Christians:
Two days before Christmas, members of a rural Christian congregation in the eastern city of Wenzhou welded some pieces of metal into a cross and hoisted it onto the top of their worship hall to replace one that was forcibly removed in October. Within an hour, township officials and uniformed men barged onto the church ground and tore down the cross. … Provincial authorities have toppled crosses from more than 400 churches, and even razed some worship halls in a province-wide crackdown on building code violations.
Many Christians say their faith has been singled out because authorities, wary of its rapid growth, are seeking to curb its spread. …
Churches in Wenzhou and elsewhere in Zhejiang were first told last year to turn off any spotlights shining on their crosses at night. A few months later, the congregations were ordered to remove the crosses or face forced demolitions. Resistance by local Christians has led to violent protests, bloody clashes and arrests of pastors and churchgoers.
I have no reservation about defending Christian worshipers against these illiberal state shenanigans.
Unfortunately, the Associated Press story doesn’t just stick with facts that show the actual injustices being perpetrated here. Author Didi Tang adds ominously that authorities in Wenzhou
… have banned all Christmas celebrations or related activities in the city’s kindergartens and grade schools.
How is that part of the same phenomenon? If you want to express your religious feelings, it’s a fine idea (and a basic human right) to do so in your home or your favorite house of worship. In schools? Not so much.
Tang overplays her hand with that bonus line about children and schools.
The rest of her article is easy to agree with; and when we (atheists) mock the idea that Christians are being persecuted, we should add “in the West.” Elsewhere, there are real risks to being a Christian, as we’ve pointed out before.
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