The Chinese government had a message for the rest of the world Monday, claiming that stories about its crackdown on Christianity are overblown by the press.
“It may be the media’s natural instinct to exaggerate news stories to attract more eyeballs,” Communist state-run paper Global Times said. “But when it comes to Christmas in China, Western media have apparently gone too far.”
The country recently banned vendors from selling Christmas-themed ornaments and items on roadside stands, and the Communist government took offense to the way that western media reported on the ban.
“Earlier this month, the urban management bureau of Langfang, Hebei Province, declared a ban on Christmas elements along the streets, especially roadside stalls and migrant vendors selling relevant products. Admittedly, the ban sounds rigid, but the operation of indoor shopping malls and supermarkets are not limited by the rule,” the paper reported.
But the crackdown on Christianity does not extend just to what can and cannot be sold on the side of the road. The Chinese government has been forcefully shuttering Christian churches over the past year.
Two weeks ago, reports surfaced that Christian leaders in the nation were arrested and tortured by government officials. Big League Politics reported:
According to a Tuesday report, about 100 Christians leaders were arrested over the weekend at a church in Chengdu, China over the weekend where three faced torture at the hands of Chinese police.
“Persecution watchdog group ChinaAid said that among the arrested at Early Rain Covenant Church were Pastor Wang Yi and his wife, Jiang Rong, as well as Guo Hai and his wife, who were forced to leave their child unnattended [sic] at home when they were taken into custody,” according to Christian Post.
A prayer letter from the church in Chengdu described this weekend’s instance of terrorism and torture.
“Three brothers and sisters who have been released told us that they were [tortured] by police at the police station today and even stepped on their feet. One of the brothers was tied to his hands and feet at a late night and was detained all day, and the leg was tortured in multiple ways, and the body was injured with multiple injuries. These evils are heinous,” the letter said according to the report.
Before that, churches were shuttered while bibles and crosses were burned, and in a separate incident, Christians were forced to renounce their faith.
Still, the state run media in China is defiant.
“Even if American reporters cannot read Chinese, they could at least personally have a look at what really is happening in the city,” Global Times. “It is a routine for Chinese urban management authorities to manage roadside stalls and migrant vendors who often occupy bike lanes and even the motorway mostly without a legal business license. This is not aimed at Christmas particularly.”
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