The CCP has not let up on the persecution of religion in China…

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One state-controlled publication declared in 2016 that members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are people who have chosen to follow the materialistic path decreed by the Party, and are thus “incompatible with superstitious ideologies as fire and water.”

In War Against Faith, Chinese Regime Burns Religious Books, Jails Believers

BY EVA FU February 24, 2021 Updated: February 24, 2021

China’s communist party has continued its broad attack on faith through the pandemic, burning and trashing religious books while jailing spiritual adherents for possessing religious literature.

While the officially atheist Chinese regime formally recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Christianity, it imposes strict rules over how these religious organizations should operate, and often installs Party cadres to control the entities, forcing millions of spiritual followers to turn underground.

For these believers—Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, Uyghur Muslims, or Falun Gong practitioners—reading, printing, or distributing religious materials could lead to jail terms, harsh labor, and other forms of abuse. Many are subject to routine monitoring and harassment by state agents, who often break into their homes without warning to seize and destroy their books.

These violations of religious freedom have led the U.S. State Department to designate the Chinese regime as a “country of particular concern” every year for more than two decades.

The repressive policies have only intensified in recent years. In 2016, the regime passed a regulation explicitly banning its roughly 90 million party members from having religious beliefs, engaging in “feudal superstitious” activities, or supporting religious extremists or racial separatists—the latter a term it frequently evokes to describe religious minorities such as Muslim practicing Uyghurs in Xinjiang or Tibetan Buddhists. This is despite the Chinese Constitution guaranteeing its citizens rights to “freedom of religious belief” and to engage in “normal religious activities.”

A few days ago, Beijing in a top policy directive listed promoting socialism and purging “superstition” as one of its top priorities for modernizing the countryside.

One state-controlled publication declared in 2016 that members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are people who have chosen to follow the materialistic path decreed by the Party, and are thus “incompatible with superstitious ideologies as fire and water.”
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Roughly two decades after the Cultural Revolution, in 1999, the CCP ordered a massive campaign to eradicate Falun Gong, a spiritual meditative discipline based on moral principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Overnight, an estimated 70-100 million Falun Gong adherents in the country became labeled as state enemies. They faced detention, torture, harassment, and forced organ harvesting if they refused to renounce their belief.

Soon after the launch of the persecution, a campaign began to force Falun Gong practitioners to hand over their books and videotapes relating to the practice. Those materials were then crushed under a pulping machine, road roller, or set on fire, often in public displays that were later used for propaganda purposes.

Millions of publications were destroyed in such a fashion, according to Minghui, a U.S-based website that tracks the persecution of Falun Gong, which reached this estimate based on reports by foreign journalists, state media, and eyewitness accounts.

destroy book falun gong
Falun Gong books being crushed under a road roller during the 1999 nationwide destruction of the spiritual practice’s publications and materials. (Minghui.org/CC0 1.0)

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Despite Buddhism and Christianity being officially sanctioned religions, its adherents have not been shielded from state pressure. In Jingdezhen County of Jiangxi Province in China’s southeast, a Buddhist abbot told of how the local government laid all of the local temples’ CDs on the road, and used an excavator to crush them, according to a December report by Bitter Winter, a magazine on China’s religious liberty and human rights. Last October, officials in the northern province of Shanxi shut down the local Fengci Temple and confiscated around 882 pounds of religious books and tens of thousands of CDs, according to the same article.

In eastern Anhui Province, at least 250 state-sanctioned churches had their crosses removed between January and April 2020, at times under the pretext of “being too tall, too large, too wide, or too eye-catching,” the magazine reported. Officials claimed the action was part of a broad campaign to eliminate religious symbols.

The pillar of a demolished Catholic church is seen in Puyang, in China's central Henan Province, on Aug. 13, 2018. The church was demolished to make way for a commercial development. (GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
The pillar of a demolished Catholic church is seen in Puyang, in China’s central Henan Province, on Aug. 13, 2018. The church was demolished to make way for a commercial development. (Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images)

Wen Weiquan, a house Christian from Wufeng Tujia Autonomous County in central Hubei Province, took his life in February 2019 after police forced him to hand over his Bible and throw crosses in his house into a fire pit.

“The Chinese Communist leader Xi Jinping and his regime engineered the worst religious persecution since the end of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s,” Bob Fu, a Chinese American pastor and founder of U.S.-based Christian nonprofit China Aid, told The Epoch Times in an email.
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During the pandemic, the regime’s sweeping religious policies have carried through, as China’s faithful continue to suffer government reprisal for the mere act of holding, producing, or circulating materials of their beliefs.

“Xi’s regime constantly uses the pandemic as a pretext for further crackdown against any independent faith or religion in China,” said Fu. He pointed to the shutdown of virtual worship services at a house church in southwestern Sichuan, and the case of Pastor Li Juncai in central China’s Henan Province, who received a 5-and-a-half-year sentence in January for attempting to prevent a CCP flag and propaganda banners to be placed in his church.
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To evade internet censorship, two government-approved Christian groups replaced religious terms with shorthand in their online bookstore, such as by changing “Christ”—pronounced as “Ji Du” in Chinese—into “JD,” and “Bible” into “SJ,” the short form of the term in Chinese, “Sheng Jing,” according to China Aid.

“This is a war against decent faith,” said Fu. “History has told us this war is doomed to fail.”

https://m.theepochtimes.com/chinese-regime-burns-religious-books-jails-believers-in-war-against-faith_3709244.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=digitalsub

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