China is punishing children for believing in God and belonging to religious groups – even banning children from entering a church – to force them into a “correct” worldview.
“President Xi Jinping and his Chinese Communist Party have really started a war against children’s faith,” said Bob Fu of ChinaAid.
“For the first time since the Cultural Revolution of Chairman Mao in 1960s, Chinese children are forced to renounce their faith in public by the Chinese Communist Party. Otherwise, the teachers will lose their job, the principals will not get a promotion, and certainly this will impact the so-called duty of the public security officers in charge of these educational schools.”
Bob Fu spoke at a virtual presentation for the United Nations Human Rights Council hosted by Jubilee Campaign. Experts and survivors of China’s persecution testified on how China is violating its constitution that protects the right of children to seek religious belief and its treaty agreements to uphold the religious rights of children.
Enoch, a survivor, testified:
“In school, students were taught that holding religious beliefs was strictly forbidden and that we were to only believe in the CCP [Chinese Communist Party]. If our religious affiliations were discovered, we would receive punishment from the school.
When my father was arrested for his Christian faith and leadership, I faced unkindness and discrimination at school from teachers.
Government officials threatened my dad that he if he did not cooperate with them, they would hire gang members to come to my school to beat me up.
They also told him that I would not be able to go to college as I would never pass the political screening because I come from a Christian family. This threatened my religious freedom, personal security, and my educational rights.”
Esther, another survivor, said:
“It became even more clear that I was being unlawfully punished for two reasons: that I am a Christian and that I taught kindergarteners materials based on the Bible.
I believe that the Chinese government felt that my status as a Christian and a teacher was a threat to the ideals of atheism and nationalism that the CCP promotes and prefers to be taught in classrooms across the nation.”
Authorities in one province issued a notice stating, “Minors receiving religious education and formation too early in churches would seriously affect the normal implementation of the education system.”
Parents have been forced to sign papers saying their children will not attend “religious venues for scripture study classes or other theological training.” They received a letter from the school saying that minors can’t have religious beliefs “because they are unable to think independently, as they are at a critical stage of development, both physically and mentally, which is crucial for establishing correct outlook on the world, life and values.”
One Christian teen was banned from a school celebration because he belonged to a church group, reports BitterWinter. The principal told parents that students are not allowed to participate in religious activities.
Jubilee Campaign reports that:
“In addition to being banned from attending church and holding religious beliefs/attending religious events in general, children have been encouraged by local government officials to report their parents if they engage in religious activity or worship.
Even as China forbids teaching children about God, villagers have been ordered to take down images of Jesus and post pictures of Chinese leaders Mao and Xi Jinping in their homes and churches.
As one religious freedom observer put it, “China is resurrecting the ‘god as the government state,’” and “a blueprint for dictators around the world.”
William Nee with Amnesty International noted, “In an important speech on religion [in 2016], Xi Jinping said that young people must study science, believe in science and develop a ‘correct’ worldview and set of values.”
“It could be that the government is concerned that young people going to church or religious activities may challenge their monopoly on truth and the government’s ability to instill its own historical narratives and worldview through the public education system.”
Call to Action: Prayer
Pray that God would turn back the forces of evil and launch a spiritual revival in China – especially among children – that the Communist regime cannot stop.
Pray for faithfulness, courage, and protection for Christian believers—parents and children – in China who face incredible pressure, intimidation and persecution.
Pray for the United States and other countries to condemn and galvanize a worldwide coalition against China’s communists and their violations of religious human rights.
Pictured: School has all its students and teachers sign a pledge promising “not to enter religious venues.” (photo from BitterWinter.org)