1 September, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/17/2009
CHINA
Ye Xiaowen, party hound on Vatican and religions, is promoted
by Bernardo Cervellera
He is now Party secretary of the Central Institute for socialism with the rank of minister. Under his direction, the Religious Affairs Bureau has persecuted underground Christian communities, Tibetans, Falun Gong. He did not want Benedict XVI to publish the letter to Chinese Catholics and blocked its circulation in China. Wang Zuoan, of the same ideological approach, takes his place.

Rome (AsiaNews) - Ye Xiaowen, the man who for 15 years led the ministry for religious affairs, has been promoted to party secretary of the Central Institute for socialism with the rank of minister. Ye was one of the greatest obstacles to China's dialogue with the Vatican and his promotion brings no hope for a relaxation of relations between Beijing and the Holy See. The outlook looks no better, considering that he is to be replaced by Wang Zuoan who has a similar ideological approach.

 

Ye, 59, was born in Guizhou. Since the early 90s he has worked in the United Front and the Ethnic and Religious Affairs. In 1995 he became director of the Office for Religious Affairs (with the rank of deputy minister), which at the time went by the name of "the State Administration for Religious Affairs."

Under his direction the first Regulations of religious activity were launched, which defined as "legal" only those whose activities, personnel and places of worship were registered, branding all meetings and activities of underground communities "illegal." Thanks to these rules one of the most violent and widespread attempts to wipe out the underground Catholic Church began, which led to the arrests of bishops and priests, to the use of physical violence against the faithful and the destruction of places of worship.

 

In '95, under the Ye’s direction the election of the 11th Panchen Lama also took place, as opposed to the one recognized by the Dalai Lama, increasing control over Tibetan Buddhism, to the point of demanding that all Buddhist reincarnation (even that of the Dalai Lama ) must have Party approval to be "true".

From '99 onwards, Ye has also led a campaign against the Falun Gong spiritual movement, resulting in the arrest of thousands of members accused of following an "evil cult", with a strange aftermath - denounced by that same movement – of  "suicide" among prisoners members of the group.

A perfect representative of the idea that religions should be subservient to the power and supremacy of the Party, Ye has always hampered dialogue with the Vatican, sometimes using weak words to publicise Beijing’s "openness".

 

His interviews with American media in February 2008 remain infamous, where Ye went to great lengths to proclaim the good prospects in diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Days later, in

March 2008, at home, he released a harsh interview against the "colonial" aims of the Vatican and Benedict XVI (cf. AsiaNews.it, 21/03/2008 The Vatican's "double face", according to Beijing; see also AsiaNews.it, 22/02/2008 China-Vatican relations, smoke and mirrors over the Olympics).

What happened in the drafting of the Letter of Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics gives an idea of the type of dialogue Ye had in mind. As is known, the secretary of state, to show its goodwill, sent the draft of the letter to the Chinese government. It was Ye Xiaowen himself who wrote to the Vatican, demanding the publication and circulation of the papal document be blocked.

According to AsiaNews sources in China, the very publication of the Letter of Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics, delayed the promotion of Ye to the rank of minister. For the party, in fact, only he could effectively hinder its circulation in China. Hours after publication, the Chinese web sites that had posted it were forced to withdraw it, other sites were obscured, priests were warned against its spread.

The latest feat of Ye Xaiowen was promoting a series of lectures to the bishops and priests on the kindness of the official religious policy of the Chinese government, 50 years since the founding of the Patriotic Association.

His departure from the Office for Religious Affairs is a promotion for his work, rather than a sign of policy change by China. His deputy, Wang Zuoan, 51, is known for his apparent affability, but his ideological position is the same as Ye: religious freedom is an innate right, only the party has the right to bestow or determine it.

 

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
03/21/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
The Vatican's "double face", according to Beijing
12/01/2005 CHINA – VATICAN
Chinese Catholic web-sites "blacked-out" on the assault against nuns in Xian
10/05/2012 CHINA - VATICAN
Shanghai’s priests and nuns subjected to brainwashing, after Ma Daqin’s "big blow"
05/23/2011 VATICAN - CHINA
Sheshan: Beijing’s war and the Pope’s “battle”
by Bernardo Cervellera
03/05/2005 china - vatican
Petition to Chinese Parliament: free bishops and priests

Editor's choices
INDIA
Card. Toppo: Learning to take care of the earth and its inhabitants from India’s tribals
by Nirmala CarvalhoThe Archbishop of Ranchi, speaks to AsiaNews ahead of the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation (1 September). The nation is home to "more than one million tribal Catholic, and in our culture we respect nature and will celebrate its gifts." Today "to be true witnesses of Christ, we must respond to the ecological crisis through a deep spiritual conversion."
VATICAN - IRAQ
Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews.
LEBANON
Muslims defend Christians’ freedom in Beirut DeclarationFreedom of religion, education and opinion are defended by quoting the Qur’ān, which is the basis for the rule of law, not a religious state. Lebanese Sunnis slam violence committed in the name of God. The full declaration is reprinted here.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.