China

China clamps down on Christianity and Western cultures


Christianity is fast becoming some serous causes for concern among the traditional Chinese, leading to the ban of Christmas celebration in some of the cities. A news highlight reported on Thursday that a Chinese city has banned schools from holding Christmas events, highlighting official suspicions about the increasingly popular festival because of its foreign origins.

China's Christian population, currently estimated at around 60 million, is rapidly growing and Christmas is increasingly marked in the country ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party. But the government education bureau in Wenzhou, an eastern Chinese coastal city sometimes called "China's Jerusalem" because of its large Christian population, banned schools from holding "Christmas-related" events, the Global Times reported. This is a measure taken to curtail increasing infiltration of the christian faith among the Chinese.

Local officials are doing this with the hopes that the Chinese schools would pay more attention to Chinese traditional festivals instead of Western traditions", said the tabloid, which has close ties to the Communist Party.The rate of interest in Christmas has grown in China, to the extent that it is now being used as an occasion for shopping, with marketeers using everything from saxophones and Smurfs to steam trains to get consumers to open their wallets.

This has led to the authorities in Wenzhou this year, to launch a demolition campaign aimed at local churches, with more than 400 forced to remove visible crosses and some completely destroyed.In order to have this completely affected, the ban came with some measures to curtail the growing interets in christainity. A university in central China now requires students to watch a documentary about Chinese sage Confucius instead of celebrating Christmas, a direction which they believe would help retain their true value and core beliefs."Be good sons and daughters of your country, stand against kitsch Western holidays," a banner on the campus of Northwest University in the ancient city of Xi'an said, according to photographs posted online.

"Resist the expansion of Western culture," read another.

A university spokesman told the state-run Guangming Daily that the school appealed to the students to pay more attention to Chinese traditional culture, and not to "idolize foreign festivals".

The newspaper added: "Each year Christmas brings debate, with one side saying that the festival can bring a lot of new fun things, and another side saying that we should not fawn over foreign things and overlook Chinese traditional festivals."

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