PERSONAL NOTE: I am reminded of Beijing Olympics in 2008, the year I went to China as a visiting professor. I was not allowed to arrive early (before the 8.8.8 Olympic Games) but China was happy to have me after the August 8, 2008 games! During that period of the Olympics, those who dared DISOBEYED the rule of China, not to distribute bibles to people publicly, those who did were given a free flight ticket home! It happened…China would not allow, nor encourage, anyone to advertise Christianity…this is very true in my campus. Yes, some American professors were using the Bible to teach prose, poetry and words of wisdom using the Bible but not allowed to preach God or Christianity to the students. Communism essentially is atheistic, and they do not believe in god or gods…though strangely many local buddhist or taoist traditions are involved with worshiping or making sacrifices to many gods and goddesses! Difficult to understand this paradox in China…so those who are actively preaching the Christian faith about Christmas in China could end up in jail…simple, it is against communism in China, pure and simple. Yet we have great Christmas services in large churches in Beijing and Shanghai every year…you might say, these churches are legal because they have registered with the Chinese government. I believe those churches that failed to register with the government are being shut down…follow the rules if you want to worship in China. Is that difficult to understand? Do it legally and you will be ok with the Chinese government. Steve, usa, december 20, 2018 email@example.com blog – https://getting2knowyou-china.com
Santa Claus won’t be coming to this town, as Chinese officials ban Christmas
• Ban on festive decorations, retail sales intended to ‘maintain stability’, officials in Langfang say in social media post
• Locals also asked to report people ‘spreading religion’ in public
, 18 December, 2018 scmp Zoe low, (3813share)
Father Christmas will not be visiting one northern Chinese town this year as officials there have ordered the removal of all festive decorations and banned shops from holding sales to “maintain stability”, according to a notice circulated on social media.
The statement from the city management office in Langfang, Hebei province, also appealed to the public to report anyone “spreading religion” in parks and squares, though it did not specify which religion.
China shuts leading underground Christian church, third this winter
Christmas is not a recognised holiday in mainland China – where the ruling party is officially atheist – and for many years authorities have taken a tough stance on anyone who celebrates it in public.
In December last year members of the Communist Party’s Youth League at the University of South China in Hunan province were asked tosigna code of conduct which told them not to participate in Christmas-related celebrations, according to social media posts circulating at the time.
The statement by Langfang officials said that anyone caught selling Christmas trees, wreaths, stockings or Santa Claus figures in the city would be punished.
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“Shops are strictly prohibited from holding Christmas performances or promotional sales,” it said.
A worker at the management office said in an interview, however, that the ban was not specifically aimed at festive products, but rather the sale of goods on the street.
“We don’t allow shops to place their products out in the street, even if it is fruit orperfumes,” said the woman, who asked not to be named. “It’s not just during Christmas.”
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While the ban on the sale of Christmas goods might appear to be directed at retailers, it also comes amid a crackdown on Christians practising their religion across the country.
On Saturday morning, more than 60 police officers and officials stormed a children’s Bible class in Guangzhou, capital of southern China’s Guangdong province.
Theincidentcame after authorities shut down the 1,500-member Zion Church in Beijing in September and Chengdu’s 500-member Early Rain Covenant Church last week.
In the case of the latter, about 100 worshippers were snatched from their homes or from the streets in coordinated raids.
100 Christians snatched in overnight raids on underground Chinese church
Patrick Poon, Amnesty International’s China researcher, said in an interview that the recent raids on churches reflected the government’s attitude towards Christianity and that the move by officials in Hebei was probably intended to impress Beijing.
“The authorities in Langfang might want to show how much they arereadyto please the central government by banning Christmas decorations and sales.
“However, it also shows their ignorance about what Christmas really means for Christians, which is not aboutshoppingor party celebrations but it’s the time to manifest their faith.”
Despite its apparent crackdown on Christmas, China manufactured and exported 60 per cent of the world’s artificial Christmas trees in 2017, according to Xinhua.