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[Catholic Caucus] Some Chinese Catholics see restrictions as new religion rules take effect
Crux ^ | February 9, 2018 | CNS contributor

Posted on 02/09/2018 11:02:58 AM PST by ebb tide

Since China’s new regulations for religious affairs took effect Feb. 1, minors have been banned from entering places of worship in several regions.

A priest in Hebei province who asked to remain anonymous told that authorities had asked clergymen in some parts of the province to post signs prohibiting minors from entering religious venues, prayer houses and other church premises.

“They also threaten churches that they cannot be used if they refuse to post the signs,” he said.

A blogger wrote that “religious venues are the third premises, following clubs and internet bars, where minors are prohibited from entering by authorities.”

RELATED: China expert says Vatican official “naive” for saying China “best implementer” of Church’s social doctrine

Peter, a Catholic in central China, said he had seen such signs posted in churches in Xinjiang.

He told there are no legal grounds for officials prohibiting minors from entering religious venues, and he accused officials of violating China’s constitution.

“When minors enter internet bars, the government and police turn a blind eye. However, they are becoming very strict in prohibiting minors from entering religious venues. It is ridiculous,” he said.

Peter said the constitution clearly stipulates that citizens have religious freedom, while protection laws state that teenagers and children cannot be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.

RELATED: Scholar urges Chinese to learn to defend against new religion regulations

He said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also stipulates that parents have the right to educate their children in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Before the regulations took effect, Ying Fuk-tsang, director of the divinity school at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, told that much would depend on how lower- and higher-level communist officials implement the details.

A priest identified only as Father Thomas of Henan told he, too, believed the regulations would be implemented differently across China, mainly depending on the relationship between the local church and the local government.

The priest said he was talking to the State Administration for Religious Affairs “to strive for space for religious freedom and the church to survive; to protect the church and staff from being attacked; and to preserve the church’s dogma.”

RELATED: Vatican, China nearing agreement on bishops, according to reports

“All religious sites must be registered; no religious activities can be held beyond registered venues; nonregistered clergymen are forbidden to host religious liturgies; and party members and minors are prohibited from entering a church,” he said. “The living space for the church is getting less and less.”

In northeastern China, Father John of the underground Catholic community - churches that refuse to register with the government - told that authorities had spoken to him about the revised regulations.

“Officials do not want us to be really underground, which would mean they would lose our traces and not know where we are,” he said.

“If our dogma is not meddled with, everything will be fine. If the religious affairs bureau and the public security bureau understand us, they will not have any worries. If we are really undergoing clandestine activities, we are really a problem to them.”

RELATED: Cardinal Zen accuses Vatican of “caging” loyal Catholics in China

But one priest who serves villages said authorities have placed greater restrictions on the church.

“Some may say that if relations between the church and law enforcement officials are good, the church may get lenient treatment,” he said. “But this is only deceiving oneself. As long as the central government requires stringent enforcement, local officials will enforce more strictly.”

Before the regulations, communist authorities already were tightening their grip on practicing Christians. Last August, reported at least four regional governments had issued notices that restricted children from joining Christian groups and attending religious activities.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: betrayal; chicomms; francischurch

1 posted on 02/09/2018 11:02:58 AM PST by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide

China is still officially communist.

Communism is officially athestic.

While saddened to hear this, it is not surprising.

2 posted on 02/09/2018 11:16:44 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: ebb tide

And to know that Pope Francis is an accomplice in this destruction of the Catholic Church in China. SHUDDDDDDDDER.

3 posted on 02/09/2018 11:47:30 AM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: ebb tide

The pope (WHAT A JOKE!) has given his favor to the subservient communist “Catholic” church in China. This “Church” is under the control of the communist regime. Communism is atheistic. There is no denying this. The “pope” knows it, and therefore is not fit to be pope.

4 posted on 02/09/2018 12:00:44 PM PST by I want the USA back (Cynicism may just keep you from going insane in a world that has chosen its own demise.)
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To: ebb tide

A sad state of affairs, it’s very difficult to be RC Chinese, but these are people who ‘walk the walk’ regarding Catholicism, and I pray for them often.

5 posted on 02/09/2018 12:31:16 PM PST by heterosupremacist (Domine Iesu Christe, Filius Dei, miserere me peccatorem!)
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