China: Online fight against religion intensifies

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In his reaffirmed desire to “sinicize” religions, that is to say to force them to integrate Chinese characteristics into their beliefs and practices, the Chinese head of state has decided to set up a “free pass Digital” for broadcasters of religious content.

Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) decided last November to leave the way open to Xi Jinping, who will be able to keep his place as president at the 20th Congress scheduled for 2022, and even beyond, the red dragon feels its wings, even on the Internet.

From now on, all religious content uploaded in the Middle Kingdom from abroad will be systematically censored. This measure is to come into effect on March 1, 2022.

“Foreign organizations or persons and organizations set up by foreigners are not allowed to operate an online religious news service in China,” the CCP-owned Global Times news site reported on Dec. 21.

In China, online religious content from overseas “incites subversion of state power, violates the principle of independence and self-management, and induces minors to believe in religion,” the report said. Global Times: The sinicization of religions, especially Catholics, is still topical. a reality in China.

Thus, in the name of the “principle of democratic control of religions” recalled in December 2021 by the master of Beijing, Christmas is considered a “Western threat” to Chinese culture, and the broadcast of the mass at Saint Peter’s in Rome becomes a threat to state security.

This is why the authorities of Rongan district (Guangxi province) banned Christmas celebrations in local schools on December 25, 2021. The reason? As a “Western holiday”, Christmas is a threat to Chinese national culture.

Local CCP officials are indeed concerned about the “proliferation in recent years of events related to the Silent Night”, an expression that refers to the midnight mass.

Additionally, teachers were “urged to work to maintain Chinese tradition”, while all citizens are encouraged to report Christmas celebrations to the police.

But that’s not all. Any Chinese individual or organization wishing to distribute religious content online will now have to be authorized beforehand: in other words, it will simply be a question of establishing a “digital pass” for religious activities.

According to the communist authorities, this measure aims to “guarantee the freedom of belief of citizens” against those who “use religion to carry out activities on the Internet that endanger national security”.

It is a sophism that would make you smile if the first to suffer from these measures were not the faithful Catholics, a minority in China – estimated, at the end of 2015, at 10.5 million, or 0.77% of the population.

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