Protestant Christians pray for Communist martyrs in China
A group of Protestant Christians from northern China prayed at a memorial shrine dedicated to Communist martyrs following an order from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
An undated photo on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo shows Christians led by Pastor Zhang Enlai, a head of the state-sanctioned Three-Self-Empowerment Church in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, praying at the Heroic Revolutionary Martyrs Memorial Tower in Wenying Park, Bitter winter reported September 28.
The shrine, inaugurated in 1951, pays homage to Communist soldiers who died during the war of resistance against the Japanese occupation forces. The inscription on the shrine – “Long live the martyrs! – was signed by Mao Zedong, the founding father of Communist China.
The Chinese regime categorically prohibits Christians from honoring and praying to their own martyrs.
The event in Taiyuan City is part of a series of Protestant activities ordered by the CCP to praise Communist heroes on the 76th anniversary of China’s victory over Japanese imperial forces.
Following the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP in July, a directive was sent to all churches in the Three Autonomies “to organize prayer and prayer for peace activities to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese people’s war of resistance against Japanese aggression and the anti-fascist war world. “
Without the sacrifices of the older generation of revolutionaries, today there would be no stable and peaceful religious life.
“Local churches and congregations may, depending on the actual local situation, conduct relevant prayer for peace activities in a small and decentralized form, in accordance with local requirements for the prevention and control of the new Covid epidemic, in order to to further promote the beautiful tradition of patriotism and love of religion and to show the good image of peaceful Christianity in China, ”the directive said.
In accordance with the order, members of the Fujian Theological Seminary were invited to attend a celebration to pay homage to the Communist martyrs and to pray for the intercession of “Jesus, the King of Peace” for “peaceful reunification.” from China.
The word “reunification” indirectly refers to Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a separatist province and has threatened to annex militarily. Independent and democratic Taiwan has never officially declared independence. It maintains diplomatic relations with 14 countries and the Vatican, the United States being one of its main allies.
Meanwhile, Pastor Zhang said Christians visited the shrine to learn to “cultivate love for party, country and socialism, and actively practice the core values of socialism,” Bitter Winter reported.
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The pastor ignored the persecution of Christians and other religious groups in China and claimed that Christians lead “happy and peaceful lives,” adding that they should be grateful to the CCP for granting them this. favor “with the blood of countless revolutionary martyrs”.
“Without the sacrifices of the older generation of revolutionaries, there would be no stable and peaceful religious life today,” he said.
Five religions have legal status in officially atheistic China: Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam and Taoism. The authorities have strictly controlled state-sanctioned religious groups and persecuted those who join unrecognized groups such as the Church of Almighty God and Falun Gong.
The 2018 Religious Affairs Regulations were strictly enforced to step up the crackdown on religious groups, especially Christians. Since then, hundreds of churches and church-based charities, including orphanages run by Catholics, have been shut down on allegations of illegal operation or breaking the rules by “indoctrinating people with religion. “.
Another oppressive policy, Sinization, aims to impose strict rules on societies and institutions based on the core values of socialism, autonomy and support for the CCP leadership.
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