Karl Marx, the creator of communism, said religion is the “opiate of the masses.” And so the Chinese Communist Party set out to prove how much more rational and broadminded they were than people who partook in silly superstition—by going Hulk smash on it.
Especially during China’s Cultural Revolution—a systematic campaign in the 60s and 70s where they wiped out religion and traditional culture. They destroyed China’s priceless cultural and spiritual heritage—and even tortured Buddhist monks. That’ll teach people…something…
But despite the Party’s best efforts, religion in China is on the rise. Not for Communist Party members, obviously. They’re required to be atheist. But Christianity in particular has seen a massive resurgence.
There are estimates at this very moment, there could be 100 million Christians in China—that’s more than there are Communist Party members! Hmm, when was the last time I heard about a 100 million-strong spiritual movement in China…oh right! Falun Gong. So you can guess how this is going to go for Christians. Actually, you don’t have to guess.
There’s been a 150% rise in the Chinese government’s persecution of Christians in just one year—according to last year’s annual report by ChinaAid.
It’s particularly bad in Zhejiang Province, sometimes called the Chinese Jerusalem because of how many Christians live there. Pastors have been arrested, and congregations have been assaulted for defending their churches from being demolished.
Though to be fair, the Party did give them the option of destroying their own crosses first.
The persecution is most severe, unsurprisingly, for “house” churches. Those are illegal, unregistered Churches. Because if you want to have a church, it’s supposed to be registered with the government, so the atheist Communist Party can appoint the priests and pastors.
That could be why a developer in Henan Province, who was hired by authorities to demolish one of these unregistered house churches, felt he might have been authorized to bury two people alive who tried to stop it!
The house church leader, Li Jiangong, and his wife, Ding Cuimei, stepped in front of bulldozers to stop the demolition. According to ChinaAid, one of the crew said, “Bury them alive for me. I will be responsible for their lives.”
So the bulldozer knocked them in and buried them. Li was able to dig himself out but Ding didn’t survive. There’s video of this, but it’s pretty disturbing. You can watch it here if you want to feel terrible and angry.
But look: If you think authorities would tolerate this kind of outrageous behavior, you’d be wrong. Authorities have already stepped in…to pressure Li not to give details to the media.
Because come on, there’s no need to make people feel bad about the Communist Party as a whole! Really, this is only the problem of one single developer. Except it’s happened before. Silly me, I would’ve thought killing people with bulldozers would have been a one-off thing.
But more importantly, the Communist Party doesn’t want the media to know how widespread and common their persecution of Christians has become.
Two perpetrators from the demolition crew that killed Ding Cuimei last week are already being criminally detained. So come on, justice has been done right? Time to move on. Surely, that’ll be the last time Christians are persecuted in China.
So what do you think? What will the future hold for Christians in China? Leave your comments below.