In a rather totalitarian move, China has banned Christians from all Church activities in the Central Henan Province and other parts of the country, signaling an uptick in Christian persecution in the country.
The Henan province is home to roughly ninety-five million people, according to a survey in 2012 approximately six percent of them identify as Protestant which amounts to roughly five million Christians.
Chinese authorities recently issued a decree banning all forms of Christian gatherings and began placing believers under house arrest for partaking in Church activities.
According to ChinaAid, a non-governmental Christian nonprofit that focuses on Human Rights Abuses, Chinese authorities have also issued the removal of couplet door decorations that use Christian language.
In addition, according to Nurudeen Lawal of naija.org, while citing an anonymous source, Christians in the province have been placed on house arrest without being charged, and in order for believers to depart their residence, they must detail to Chinese authorities as to where they are going and what they are planning to do.
“I heard that many churches in Sheqi County also received a notice that believers cannot gather anymore. “Christians are afraid of gathering and they don’t have anywhere to gather either. Times have changed. It feels like the Cultural Revolution,” a Christian in Nanyang, Henan said.
The original Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a socio-political movement in China from 1966 until 1976, which took place under Mao Zedong and resulted in, on record, at minimum one hundred million dead.
According to another Chinese Christian, identified as Wan*g in the report, Churches in the cities of Zhumadian and Zhoukou, as well as Gushi County, received a notice stating that all religious activities in the area are canceled until further notice. In addition, the notice reads that any individual found to be partaking in Christian activities will be ‘punished.’
In Tanghe County, citizens found to be involved in Christian activities, such as; Church meetings, house churches, etc., would be fined 30,000 yuan (the US $4,700).
Recently, in another part of the Communist Nation, specifically in Jiangxi province’s Yugan county, villagers are being made to remove the 624 posters showing Christian religious sayings and images from their respective homes, in order to replace them with 453 images of Xi Jinping.
Under the original Cultural Revolution in China, Mao Zedong forced Christians to remove all forms of Religious Imagery from the home and replace them with images of the Communist Party’s Leader at that time which was Mao Zedong.
The alarming signs of yet another cultural revolution are afoot within the borders of the communist nation, under the original, Christians within the country suffered greatly, many were persecuted for their faith.
Academics and Chinese citizens alike are both concluding that another Cultural Revolution is beginning in China, one that uses technology to harass, detain, monitor, rank and control the activities of each citizen.
Over the course of the last several years, according to Joshua Eisenman a professor at the University of Texas LBJ School in Austin, China is rampantly turning to National Socialism, and away from democracy. Eisenman, in an interview with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, stated;
Including Chinese people. And in Chinese, the word for National Socialism is guójiā shèhuì zhǔyì, but the word for statism is guójiā zhǔyì, and so people have been using guójiā zhǔyì, statism, saying National Socialism makes them bristle for a variety of reasons. You think of the Anti-Japanese War and a variety of different historical instances. In fact, they had a few years ago a parade, the anti-fascist parade with goose-stepping soldiers, which was ironic.
But what’s going on now is that people are not pushing back like they used to. They used to say, “Josh, you’re taking it too far with that.” But now people are saying, “Actually, you know what? That’s a pretty good description.” They’re not saying it’s bad—and part of what I’m doing here, and I want to be clear about it, is that I’m not being judgmental. I’m not saying National Socialism is inherently bad, although I personally am a liberal, so I don’t like it.
But some people, including people like Mussolini, argued—sometimes convincingly—that fascism was better than liberal democracy, that it was superior, that it could achieve things that liberal democracy simply couldn’t because liberal democracy would be mired in debate all the time, whereas the fascists could get things done. And the Chinese government most definitely gets things done. So there are many people out there who might not want to say China is National Socialist, but they are willing to say the Chinese system is better and gets things done.
Furthermore, according to the interview with Devin Stewart, Joshua Eisenman stated the following in regards to Xi Jinping’s Cultural Revolution;
DEVIN STEWART: Tell us what you saw in China. It’s increasingly difficult to know what’s going on inside China. You were just there. What is it like on university campuses? What is it like speaking to young people? What do you see?
JOSHUA EISENMAN: I can say that universities have become much tighter places than they were in the past. There is no doubt about it. Several professors, who will remain nameless, said to me they thought it was a new Cultural Revolution. That’s a pretty interesting statement because Premier Wen Jiabao, just before he stepped down as premier of the National People’s Congress, said that if China doesn’t take a different road, it’s going to have another Cultural Revolution. So it’s very interesting that professors are now saying that.
DEVIN STEWART: What would you make of the academic environment generally speaking?
JOSHUA EISENMAN: The academic environment is tighter than it has ever been. Many university professors, especially junior professors, have to receive approval or comments from higher-level senior Party officials in order to be promoted.
Similarly, there is different funding that they have to receive called kètí [phonetic] from the government. If they don’t receive this funding, even if they were to receive funding from other sources and published articles in top places, it wouldn’t be enough necessarily to get tenure.
DEVIN STEWART: What is the source of this constraint? What’s the rationale behind making things tighter and raising the level of control? What’s the goal there?
JOSHUA EISENMAN: I don’t know if any of you listeners have seen Document Number Nine. It’s certainly worth a Google, because it was a leaked document that came out a few years ago where the Communist Party basically said that “liberal values are bad, and we need to watch out for liberal values.” And one of the bastions of liberal values is universities, liberal-thinking professors. So inspection teams have been sent out to all the major universities to ensure that liberal values are not being promulgated. Textbooks, for instance, that are liberal-leaning textbooks or Western-printed textbooks have been removed from shelves and removed from classes.
I would say that perhaps one of the more disturbing trends is that many university students—especially top students who wish to study abroad—have been asked to essentially spy on their professors and come back and give reports about professors, who are then called in and scolded for the types of either materials they’re using or the points that they’re making.
So we can consider this a Cultural Revolution of the political right. When the political left came to get you, the workers and the peasants would come and lead you out in the “airplane” position. That was Mao’s Cultural Revolution. But Xi’s Cultural Revolution is quite different. Xi’s Cultural Revolution is one of the political right, so what happens is you have political indoctrination sessions followed by lists of books that are not approved that you can’t use or syllabi that must be approved, students in the class who are going to rat you out, and then you’ll end up with a knock on the door, and then you’ve got to deal with that.
So there is a lot of concern. A lot of people who in my experience used to speak very frankly are really refraining from speaking frankly. I can tell you that many people, or all Chinese professors who want to leave the country, have had to turn over their passports to the university and have to reapply to the university to get their own passport back to attend an academic conference abroad.
They are also encouraged now to travel not on their private passports, but university professors are given official government passports and asked to travel on those passports if they’re doing any work-related matters. If they’re going to Barbados for a week or something, then they travel on private passports, although they still must get permission. But if they’re going to do an academic conference—so a variety of different methods are being used in order to curtail what is the realm of the possible in China today.
– Carnegie Council
Granted the details of the persecution faced by Chinese Christians from first hand accounts, the report by Joshua Eisenman, and many other accounts of what is currently taking place in China it can be derived that another Cultural Revolution is gradually getting underway in China and that Christians within the Communist Nation are suffering the greatest of all. Pray for the persecuted.