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China: Authorities issue strict orders banning publication of all religious materials not approved by government

Persecution of Christians in China: The Chinese government has been acting with ever greater impunity against Christians. Its attempt to place tight restrictions on Christian activities is part of its efforts to create a form of Christianity with “Chinese characteristics,” that is, a Christianity that is a pliant tool of the Communist Party. This is a matter of grave concern also for all the Christians of the country, including the tiny community of Orthodox Christians in China. As a Buddhist says in the article below, “The government controls religions for fear that people of faith will be influenced by foreigners to go against the Communist Party.” In this environment, the Orthodox churches in China could be closed at any time at the whim of local officials, and Orthodox Christians taken into custody.

China offers yet another instance of the persecution of Christians by governing officials that is unfortunately on the increase not only in China, but in all too many other nations around the world.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.

“More Bans on Religious Materials Not Approved by the State,” by Huang Xin, Bitter Winter, October 13, 2020:

Throughout China, authorities are issuing strict orders to ban the publication of all religious materials not approved by the government, punishing anyone who violates them. The situation makes printing businesses scared.

On September 14, education and environmental protection bureaus in Luoyang, a prefecture-level city in the central province of Henan, inspected a local printing house to determine whether it publishes banned religious materials.

“They checked my storehouse, scrutinized all records, and even looked at paper sheets on the floor, to see if they have prohibited content,” the printing house manager said. “If any such content is found, I’ll be fined, or worse, my business will be closed.”

The manager explained that he had refused all orders to print religious books and materials. “Inspections are too rigorous,” he said. “Any religious content makes the issue political, not religious. Although banners on the streets say people are allowed religious beliefs, the only faith they can practice freely is that in the Communist Party.”

Most of the other Luoyang’s printing houses visited by Bitter Winter also don’t accept orders to print religious materials.

“The government does not allow to print religious materials nationwide, especially Christian,” a sales department manager in one of the visited businesses explained. “Anyone who takes on such orders breaks the law and might be put into prison. This is the line that we absolutely can’t cross. A printing house in the city was closed down for printing religious books, and some of its staff were arrested.”

Similar bans are applied to photocopying businesses. “I don’t even dare to make copies of two sheets with religious hymns because of strict investigations,” an attendant at a photocopying shop in Luoyang said. “I was told to report anyone who comes to copy religious materials.”

The keeper of another photocopying shop confirmed that religious materials are banned from being photocopied. “If businesses are discovered, they could be fined as much as ten times their monthly income; or worst of all, workers could even be arrested,” the man explained. “If we are not sure if a text is religious, we must keep its copy and report it to authorities.”

For postal, logistics, and courier services, religious materials are labeled as “contraband.”…

“The government controls religions for fear that people of faith will be influenced by foreigners to go against the Communist Party,” the director of a Buddhist temple in Jiangxi commented….

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