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China bans children from going to church

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
9/14/2017 (5 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Even children who attend with parents are to be turned away.

Four regional governments in China have banned children from attending church, even with their parents. The government also pledges to crack down on unofficial, unapproved Catholic and Protestant churches.

China has banned children from attending Church, even with their parents. But will this backfire?

China has banned children from attending Church, even with their parents. But will this backfire?

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
9/14/2017 (5 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: China, children, Christian, ban, church


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Regional governments in four places in China have banned children from attending church. The bans mean that children are forbidden to go inside churches or to practice their religion, even if their parents are involved.

The Chinese government is officially communist and atheistic, and it shuns religion as a distraction from the state.


The Chinese government has also pledged to crack down on unofficial versions of the Catholic and Protestant churches across the country. Beijing only allows people to attend state-sanctioned churches that agree to follow strict rules and guidelines set by the state. The Chinese government also appoints bishops and other senior church officials. This has caused an artificial schism in the Catholic Church in China, with one version loyal to the Vatican and the other to Beijing. Clergy loyal to the Vatican often Beijing face persecution. Arrests and other forms of harassment are common.

Primary and secondary education teachers are also forbidden from attending churches, lest they have an influence on impressionable young children.

Priests and other members of the clergy are now forbidden to teach children.

The Chinese government hopes to spread atheism in place of religion and by keeping children from learning about their faith. The ban will ensure children learn loyalty to the state instead.

It is unclear if the ban will be spread to the remainder of China, but such a move is likely.

There is one caveat the Chinese government should consider. Banned religions don't go away, they merely go underground. You cannot change a person's beliefs by banning them. The Church has a habit of flourishing while underground and taking over. It has happened countless times throughout history. We pray it happens in China too.

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