For a looming super-dooper-power, China sure is gutless

This story via Fr John Zuhlsdorf: Xi Jinping Portraits Replace Catholic Symbols in Churches.

A Catholic Church in Ji’an, a prefecture-level city in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, was built this year at the cost of more than one million RMB (over $ 140,000), which had been raised by believers. It was named “The True and Original Source of the Universe” (萬有真原), a reference to the name inscribed in 1711 on a plaque the Kangxi Emperor (Xuanje, 1654–1722) donated to a Catholic church in Beijing. Not long after it opened its doors, the church became the target of the local government’s persecution.

In late September, local officials ordered the congregation to paint over the sign with the name of the church, replace it with “Follow the Party, Obey the Party, and Be Grateful to the Party,” and display the national flag at the entrance.

What has hurt the congregations the most was the removal of a painting of the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child, later discarded into a dark corner of the church. Instead, a portrait of president Xi Jinping was hung in the center of one of the walls, surrounded by propaganda slogans on both sides.

A few days later, officials confiscated the keys to the church and locked all its doors and windows. The congregation lost their place of worship.

The same month, a Catholic meeting venue that is not part of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association in Jiangxi’s Poyang county was ordered to cease religious activities. Local officials threatened to revoke retirement pensions of elderly congregation members if another meeting were to be held. The church’s cross, a painting of the Virgin Mary, and religious couplets were removed, and portraits of Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong were displayed instead.

 
Interestingly, the Jesuit-admiring Kangxi Emperor decided to formally tolerate Christianity in 1692. This peaceable era didn’t last long, however, after the age-old question arose as to whether converts could go on participating in native rites – in this case Confucian ancestor worship. The Jesuits said yes (of course) but the Dominicans said no. The pope backed the latter. Clement XI condemned such rites in 1715. Christianity suddenly lost favour with the Emperor who banned missionaries from the country. Now, 304 years later, Clement’s present-day successor – the first Jesuit to hold the office – has, in a way, reinstated his order’s view of things. This proves that on China and on doctrine, he is not of the same kidney as Clement.

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38 Responses to For a looming super-dooper-power, China sure is gutless

  1. stackja

    Communist dictatorship flexing muscle. Lenin, Stalin etc tried the same thing. Russian churches returned.

  2. Robbo

    Why expect any better from a Jesuit, indeed why expect anything better from the Catholic Church? The Church continues to concentrate on its main game, raking in money and assets, as it has for centuries.

  3. struth

    The Church continues to concentrate on its main game, raking in money and assets, as it has for centuries

    And what it sells is worth every cent..

  4. Tim Neilson

    The Church continues to concentrate on its main game, raking in money and assets, as it has for centuries.

    Do you actually know any Catholic clergy or members of Catholic religious orders?

    I can’t believe that anyone, at least in the modern west, would feign a vocation as a financial strategy.

    (I’m not a Catholic BTW.)

  5. Mother Lode

    The church’s cross, a painting of the Virgin Mary, and religious couplets were removed, and portraits of Xi Jinping and Mao Zedong were displayed instead.

    They are expected to worship Winnie the Pooh and a mass murderer?

    Interesting mix.

  6. Mother Lode

    The Church continues to concentrate on its main game, raking in money and assets, as it has for centuries.

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Scaling up, I think you could level city blocks just trying to boil a kettle.

  7. Bruce of Newcastle

    The gulags are currently full up with mu slims.
    Once there’s free space I would not be surprised if Christians are next.
    Especially after the last Falun Gongers are broken up for spare parts.

  8. Bruce of Newcastle

    Interestingly, the Jesuit-admiring Kangxi Emperor decided to formally tolerate Christianity in 1692.

    Rabban Sawma was a Christian monk in Beijing in the 13thC. It is clear the Mongols, who ran China at the time, were tolerant of Christianity. Sawma was sent as an ambassador from the court of the Khan to the west, reaching as far as western France before returning to Baghdad.

    He and his colleague wrote an account of the journey and subsequent events, an English translation of which is available (PDF here).

  9. PB

    I think xomething similar happened at the Box Hill Town hall in Melbourne.

  10. All those who admire the current Pope might like to consider these examples as results of his decision to hand over control of the Church in China to the Communist Party. The best that can be said of Pope Francis is that he knows not what he does. The worst? The answer to the old joke, “Is the Pope a Catholic?” is no longer as clear as it once was.

  11. Mother Lode

    All those who admire the current Pope

    Such people exist?

  12. Rex Mango

    The Pope allowing the Chinese to control the Church could prove a big mistake.

  13. struth

    The pope has confused the two “C”s.
    He’s a bloody communist, not a catholic.
    The Church is not one man.

  14. Entropy

    Thou shalt not have any other Gods before me
    Thou shalt not bow down before graven images

  15. C.L.

    The Kangxi decree was a formal court edict of toleration – it was a pretty big deal. Catholicism was officially recognised, attacks on Christians and churches were outlawed and proselytism was legalised. You have to hand it to Clement for not folding. The stakes were huge.

  16. Tony Tea

    It’s puzzled me that Christianity is on the up big time in China, despite opposition from the authorities. Or is it just the Catholic flavour that cops it.

  17. Cynic of Ayr

    I dunno if I’ll live to see it, but what a spectacular fall Xi Jinping is going to eventually experience.
    It’ll be a spectacle to behold, when it all comes crashing down, Venezuelan or Russian style, and some mob – public or otherwise – decides it’s all his fault.
    Leader for life? Nah, ain’t gunna happen. China is not going to be a North Korea, just to have a self appointed leader.

  18. Bruce of Newcastle

    Or is it just the Catholic flavour that cops it.

    Protestants too, fiercely. Although the authorities may tolerate house churches that keep their heads down more than bigger churches with dedicated buildings. That could just be a manpower question though, since keeping tabs on so many people would require a lot of effort.

  19. Mother Lode

    It’s puzzled me that Christianity is on the up big time in China

    Soren Kierkegaard made the observation that it was piss easy to be a Christian in Denmark (in his time).

    Danish Christianity and Danish society were so intertwined that the border between them had disappeared. Far from being persecuted being a ‘good Christian’ invited privilege. Going to church was a social event that no one would pass up. Christian works scored you points in the social set, and everyone understood if you failed in some way or other because forgiving was an established social protocol. Besides everybody had failures at some point.

    The Christians in China have real courage, must truly be steadfast in their beliefs, and strangely unperturbed by the events swirling around them.

    I can imagine people admiring the Christians and eventually becoming one.

  20. Iampeter

    China is running actual concentration camps so I’m not sure focusing on symbols being swapped in Christian churches is what someone genuinely concerned with rights abuses and freedoms would be prioritizing.

    But if you’re just virtue signalling and playing identity politics then this is a great post, CL.
    Mission accomplished.

  21. Gab

    Ah the lame old deflection and minimizing intolerance by comparison trick. Some people just like to thrown in the distraction squirrel when they hate certain groups of people. Hey, “iampeterthedick” why don’t you write up a post about the concentration camps and send it to Sinclair.

  22. Chris M

    The Christians in China have real courage, must truly be steadfast in their beliefs, and strangely unperturbed by the events swirling around them.

    Yes, indeed!

    This is to be expected, Jesus words in John 15: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”

    As the Chinese government persecutes Christians it’s all downhill from here, final judgement awaits. The sad thing is they are the most law abiding group among all the corruption.

  23. C.L.

    That China’s crackdown on Islam has grown in severity in the years contemporaneous with the latter’s modern-day homicidal depravities throughout the world is not surprising.

  24. faceache

    Robbo
    #3246164, posted on November 27, 2019 at 10:26 am
    Why expect any better from a Jesuit, indeed why expect anything better from the Catholic Church? The Church continues to concentrate on its main game, raking in money and assets, as it has for centuries.

    Oh Robbo, you ignorant s**t

  25. Iampeter

    Ah the lame old deflection and minimizing intolerance by comparison trick. Some people just like to thrown in the distraction squirrel when they hate certain groups of people.

    I’m just pointing out how hollow this post rings and the leftie/identity politics nature of it.
    Next you guys will start chanting “Christian lives matter” and still not realize who you sound like.
    I don’t think I’m the one deflecting.

    That China’s crackdown on Islam has grown in severity in the years contemporaneous with the latter’s modern-day homicidal depravities throughout the world is not surprising.

    And CL concedes the point I’m making…

  26. C.L.

    What was the point you were making?
    When a writer writes about A, then yes, it means he didn’t write about B?
    That’s not a “point.” That’s an Elmo lesson on Sesame Street.

    Maybe I will write about China’s Muslims in the future.
    But today I wrote about – or posted about – Christians.

  27. Gab

    What the mainstream media doesn’t write about is how Christians are being persecuted in China. But they produce volumes on the Mu slims in China. And “iampeterthelame” gets all upset about one blogger (of note) who decides to write about Christians. Because Mus lims.

  28. JC

    Yea Gab. The Corbynista is easily understood.

  29. Davey Boy

    It’s fashionable to be dissin’ the Christians, dontcha know. It’s not just the MSM, all the corporates in Oz are in on the gig.

    For example, in one of my past places of employment, I witnessed written, published, company-wide vilification of the Catholic Church and organisations such as the Australian Christian Lobby and the Marriage Alliance. My written objections to senior management and HR about these overt acts of denigration were ignored for two years. Then I was eventually given some non-answer which implied I was a bit loopy.

    BTW the same company (big on LGBTQwerty inclusiveness) didn’t do or say anything about its business ties with state-owned companies in Brunei when the Sultan announced the death by stoning penalty for gays.

    So IMHO the MSM, just like corporates, doesn’t give a shyt about Christians, in fact they tacitly approve of and endorse treatment like that being dished out to Christians by the ChiComs.

  30. Iampeter

    What was the point you were making?

    Oh the usual.
    That you’re a politically illiterate leftist playing identity politics. That unlike progressives you don’t even realize what you’re saying and doing.
    After your last disastrous post you can’t even claim to support religious freedom in the collectivist sense that you mean it.

    I don’t want you to think that I’m just singling you out though. I feel the same way about the entire hopeless conservative movement.

    The biggest issue that no one is talking about today is that there is no alternative to the left and conservatives are just the clueless arm of the left wing.

  31. C.L.

    Iampeter, I value your contributions, believe it or not.
    If I’ve patronised or been rude to you, my apologies.

    I do think you push the line about all of us being dupes of the left a little beyond breaking point.

  32. mh

    Watched a program on SBS recently showing the Nazis replicating and replacing Christian ceremonies and the symbols. Pictures of the Fuhrer instead of the Virgin Mary, Nazi officials replacing the clergy, swastika replaces the cross etc. Looks pathetic now, but of course other longer lasting socialist regimes like China’s show this is still socialism 101, replacing God with the state.

  33. Robbo
    #3246164, posted on November 27, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Why expect any better from a Jesuit, indeed why expect anything better from the Catholic Church? The Church continues to concentrate on its main game, raking in money and assets, as it has for centuries.

    What a delusional fucking idiot.

    Jesuits are well educated priests with life experience. Talk about “evil jesuits” is cuckoo cloud land stuff.

    Money is voluntarily given to the church, and they educate non Catholics, even non-Christians for free, as well as owning excellent private hospitals (the doctors can charge as they please, but this is the same as the public sector as well).

  34. Colonel Crispin Berka

    ABC:

    Kevin Rudd says Australia should not overreact to China’s apparent efforts to influence it

    Krudd parachutes in to fly the red flag for the bosses. Well done Kev. I am totally placated, anaesthetised, and prepped for involuntary organ donation now.

    Forget “Kevin07”.
    New team warcry: Kevin4vivisection

  35. Iampeter

    Iampeter, I value your contributions, believe it or not.
    If I’ve patronised or been rude to you, my apologies.

    I do think you push the line about all of us being dupes of the left a little beyond breaking point.

    I do come off ruder than intended sometimes CL. Thanks for being the bigger man and sorry :/

  36. Crossie

    Chris M
    #3246461, posted on November 27, 2019 at 4:54 pm
    The Christians in China have real courage, must truly be steadfast in their beliefs, and strangely unperturbed by the events swirling around them.

    Yes, indeed!

    This is to be expected, Jesus words in John 15: “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”

    The same could be said for the pope. John Paul II was hated by the world, meaning the media and “the beautiful people”, and he was beloved of Catholics. Pope Frankie is beloved of the media and the luvvies but barely tolerated and even despised by practicing Catholics.

    Many Catholics including me believe the real pope is still alive while this imposter is wrecking the Church.

  37. Bruce of Newcastle

    The Ministry of Truth will be busy:

    China will censor all classic religious texts to ensure their messages reflect Socialist values (27 Nov)

    China is set to censor all translated versions of classic religious books to make sure that their messages reflect the principles of Socialism.

    The new editions must not contain any content that go against the beliefs of the Communist Party, according to the country’s top officials on religious matters.

    Paragraphs deemed wrong by the censors will be amended or re-translated, the officials have said.

    The order was given yesterday during a meeting held by the Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which oversees the ethnic and religious matters in China.

    Fortunately these days a Bible can be sent via the internet simply and easily. So they are trying to do the impossible. No way could such files be stopped if they are encrypted.

  38. classical_hero

    The weirdest thing about Christianity is that it spreads best when it’s being persecuted. If you look at places where Christianity is growing, the people are horribly persecuted and places where it’s tolerated, it’s falling. Although in many places where Christianity was tolerated, they are becoming more intolerant of it and soon it will be persecuted again.

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