21 February 2018
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  • » 02/03/2018, 13.41

    CHINA - VATICAN

    Young people: first victims of Beijing’s new religious regulations

    Wang Zhicheng

    Since February 1, many parishes in Shanxi and Inner Mongolia have been ordered not to hold camps for young people, close to the Chinese New Year. Private religious gatherings also banned in schools and universities. Attempts to stop religious growth among young people.

    Beijing (AsiaNews) – As of February 1, the new regulations for religious activities are in vigour.  First published last October they provide for close monitoring of all official communities and fines, arrests and expropriation for members of unofficial communities. Among the first victims of this clamp down are the young people.

    AsiaNews sources confirm that since February 1, the Religious Affairs Bureau and the Department of the United Front have begun to call all Catholic parishes to make it clear that from now on it will not be possible to hold camps (spring or summer) where young people usually gather for a few days of vacation and spirituality. The new regulations in fact require that "religious schools" can only be carried out in registered places and under State control. Being in a tent, outdoors or in some inexpensive hotel, and holding meetings and even being together with young people will be considered "illegal religious activity". The urgency of the order is also due to the arrival of the long holiday on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, which begins on 16 February.

    Several priests from Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and other parts of China have already received this warning. Some parishes received the letter from the Religious Affairs Bureau.

    The new regulations also require that "non-religious groups, non-confessional schools, non-religious activity sites should not carry out religious formation", as well as "non-religious academies ... must not have religious activities" (Article 41). To follow these indications, for several years - not only with the new regulations - universities and schools prohibit Christmas celebrations, even Christmas parties, decorations and greetings in the name of "Chinese cultural identity", while allowing however - for example - the broadcast of football games.

    One fact that is already being implemented among Chinese Muslims is the prohibition of young people under 18 years from attending the mosque. Among the Christians this prohibition is less observed. But last August, at least 100 Protestant communities received orders not to allow their children to take part in religious ceremonies and catechism.

    The Party appears to be urgently attempting to stem the growth of faith in young people. According to a statistic issued some years ago, more than 60% of Chinese university students in Beijing and Shanghai are eager to learn about Christianity. The religious awakening in China now seems uncontrollable.

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    See also

    07/02/2017 13:39:00 CHINA
    Richard Madsen: The "Chinese dream" of Xi Jinping passes through control over religions - Part Five

    The nationalist idea of ​​Xi Jinping is close to that of Donald Trump ( "make a great new China", "make America great again"). The faithful of the religions have an opportunity to change society, but beginning from their personal environments. Chinese nationalism clashes with globalization and international relations.

     



    03/02/2017 14:18:00 CHINA
    Richard Madsen: Creative Chinese Christians are beyond the control of the Patriotic Association (Part Three)

    Rigid control is fomenting a backlash from the underground community. These are organized in many ways and are not "enemies" of the government a priori, indeed they collaborate in social development. The help of the communities to stabilize marriages is viewed in a positive way by the state. The new regulations on religious activities launched by Xi Jinping are perhaps doomed to failure.

     



    06/02/2017 10:17:00 CHINA
    Richard Madsen: China is a religious country. 85% have some belief - Part Four

    People are led to believe by social insecurity and political. Many Communist Party members live their faith in secret, even though they are forbidden. The government emphasizes its stability because instead there is a potential instability and the people are very worried. The considerations of Prof. Madsen, a sociologist of religions at the University of San Diego.

     



    08/05/2017 13:45:00 VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.



    13/02/2017 20:13:00 CHINA-VATICAN
    Richard Madsen: In China-Holy See dialogue, Beijing wants to destroy, or at least weaken the Church

    According to the famous sociologist of religion in China, there may be "converging interests" between Beijing and the Vatican, as to lead to an agreement on the appointment of bishops. But the hopes of the Chinese Church are different. Never talk about "agreement" before an official announcement.





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