China playing the role of Scrooge

Robert Duncan has a great article in the Canada Free Press about the various incidents that have occurred lately in China, in which the Chinese authorities have been cracking down on Christians leading up to Christmas. He prefaces these incidents with an historical context of Christianity in China and the size of the Church in China as compared with populations of nations.

“To arbitrarily arrest peaceful Christians for celebrating Christmas, shows how much religious freedom Chinese people have,” said Bob Fu, President of China Aid Association. “The international community should be concerned for the increasing religious persecution in China in recent months especially in light of the Beijing Olympics just a few months away.”

According to Asia News, “the economic opening of China has led to Christmas becoming an accepted and loved holiday. Christmas trees are on sale in the major cuties and countryside, as will as nativity scenes and greeting cards.”

But economics does not make Christmas. “For many underground Catholics there will be no Christmas mass: there bishops are under house arrest, as are many priests. As a result the only way they have of celebrating the Jesus’ birth is to gather together and listen to the mass transmitted by Vatican Radio. The lack of priests, (and of freedom) in many areas in China, forces many to travel up to 50 km to attend midnight mass,” that same Asia News article noted.

According to China Aid, “In spite of increasing persecution, house church members remain adamant and vocal about celebrating the Christmas season. Services continue to be held celebrating the birth of Christ, as members gather to sing songs and worship despite fears of arrest and imprisonment.”

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