Repression? I see no repression ...
A mother prays while her child sits the national college entrance examination in China's Tianjin on June 7, 2005. More than 8.6 million Chinese middle school graduates attended this year's college entrance exam. (newsphoto)
The photo above and its caption appeared in Wednesday's People's Daily, the soft-propaganda on-line newspaper of the PRC. In preparation for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing a massive PR campaign is underway to present a friendly face to the outside world.
The People's Daily appears in six language versions, and it would appear that each is ideologically tailored to the target group (for at least four days running, the Arabic version featured a photo from Abu Ghraib, showing Pvt. England with the naked prisoner on a leash). It's interesting that only the English edition showed the mother at prayer, and we can be pretty certain this is intended to weaken American protests against China's hostile repression of Christianity. Note the wording of the Constitution:
Article 36. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state. Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.
"No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that ... interfere with the educational system of the state." That clause gives the government all the powers it needs, and that's why Catholic several bishops, priests, and laity (as well as other Christians and members of non-Christian religions) are imprisoned or "missing" today. M.A. Thiessen's article in Crisis is worth re-reading.
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Posted by: -
Jun. 11, 2005 6:17 PM ET USA
Since roughly 33 AD, even though Am Cath Bishops are clueless, true education has been Christian. If what you are doing is non- or anti-Catholic it isn't education, but ideological propagandization and/or vocational. Education is formational and only indirectly informational. The fact that Am Bishops actively seek and form seminarians sponsored by the National (ie communist) Chinese Church, plus the fact that they have sold their souls to the Am govt is reason why there will be no complaimts.
Posted by: Vincit omnia amor -
Jun. 11, 2005 11:02 AM ET USA
Di states that the photo is "intended to weaken American protests against China's hostile repression of Christianity." What happens when you weaken what are already weak protests? Church leaders should be more vocal informing us of our suffering brethren throughout the world...and civic leaders should come up with policies which REALLY reflect our "protest" against such persecution. BTW...have you noticed how many religious goods are "made in China?" More power to Godless rulers-NOT the people..