More than 300 Christian children from two high schools in Zhejiang province, a location that has been referred to as the “Jerusalem of the East” or “China’s Jerusalem,” for its strong Christian presence, have all been asked to fill out a form where they are to state that they follow no religion, according to sources of World Watch Monitor.
Authorities in Wenzhou’s Ouhai district released a short video that was mentioned when the schools held their meetings that said teachers must not hold any religious beliefs, and particularly that they must not proselytize in schools.
One Christian told Radio Free Asia that an investigation team from the central government in Zhejiang will be circulating from mid-September to around October 10th.
“They will probably be carrying out incognito visits to schools to see if this is happening, so all the schools are holding meetings [about it],” the Christian stated.
With schools in China being government-controlled and financed, and in turn communist in ideology, Christian children have often times faced “shaming” incidents, “but the extent of such shaming was to prevent them from joining the Communist Youth League, thereby denying them any of the perks that come with a progression to Communist Party Member later in life”, World Watch Monitor was told.
Photos made the rounds on social media of a “Teacher’s Commitment Letter” that was issued to teachers at one school in Yuequing that requires them to “adhere to the correct political direction, promote atheism, firmly establish a Marxist religious outlook, not believe in any religion, and not teach any religious knowledge to students.”
The letter goes on to say that if the signatory is found in violation of the rules, they are “willing to accept punishment.”
Similar “letters of commitment” are being handed out to healthcare professionals in Yuequing, according to local residents.
Medical staff at the Yueqing Maternal and Child Health Hospital were recently issued a latter that required them to pledge not to follow any religion or participate in religious activities while they’re employed by the hospital.
“Medical staff must discover, stop, and report violations of laws and discipline with regard to religion to police or administrative departments in a timely manner, including their family members, children, relatives, friends and neighbors,” the letter states.
Furthermore, staff are also banned from wearing any clothing linked to any form of religious belief, and are subjecting themselves to “education.” If that doesn’t work, further offenses will be penalized by dismissal, the letter says.
“In this case, however, the children were handed a questionnaire in class about faith, which is not normal. It seems this is part of the new push to identify Christians and give them pressure of one sort or another.
“Children in this part of China would write ‘Christian’ because of 1) their innocence and 2) they come from families of fervent believers who do not compromise their faith.”
World Watch Monitor’s source continued, “In these cases it would be using words only. It seems teachers recently were tasked with pressuring children by separating them from the other students to ‘counsel’ or talk to them sternly about the ‘consequences’ of talking about being a Christian believer at school, urging them to write “No religion” on their questionnaire. This is for the child’s sake and to limit any growth of Christianity amongst young people through evangelism or simply becoming known as the ones who could answer questions other pupils may have about Christianity.”
Children who refuse to comply are reportedly denied access to opportunities at school that include being elected as class representatives for special events. They also face the possibility of receiving a leaving certificate from their school, and therefore would not be able to attend any university. These type of incidents are recorded in the children’s personal files, which is held by local government departments and such information could hamper the children’s future employment opportunities.
The following video from the YouTube channel Jason A puts the spotlight on Chinese authorities who are cracking down on Christianity nationwide.
WATCH: Something Biblical is Happening in China!
Join the conversation!
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.