It’s interesting that the AP just yesterday was reporting on the crack down on Christianity. At the same time, The Pope is wheeling and dealing with China.
In deference to my Catholic readers I have deferred on commenting on much of the Vatican’s dealings and goings on. Catholicism is a personal matter. Let the Catholics deal with their Socialist. But this one is a puzzle that I can’t ignore. Is this a Protestant versus Catholic deal?Any thoughts?
Is Tawain on the table as far as recognition? What has Rome promised for this? The same as Goggle? Excuse me for being cynical. What’s the deal? First the AP news:
BEIJING (AP) — China’s government is ratcheting up a crackdown on Christian congregations in Beijing and several provinces, destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.
The campaign corresponds with a drive to “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the officially atheist Communist Party and eliminating any challenge to its power over people’s lives.
Bob Fu of the U.S.-based group China Aid said over the weekend that the closure of churches in central Henan province and a prominent house church in Beijing in recent weeks represents a “significant escalation” of the crackdown.
“The international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” he wrote in an email.
Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, religious believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982.
Fu also provided video footage of what appeared to be piles of burning bibles and forms stating that the signatories had renounced their Christian faith. He said that marked the first time since Mao’s radical 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution that Christians had been compelled to make such declarations, under pain of expulsion from school and the loss of welfare benefits.
A Christian pastor in the Henan city of Nanyang said crosses, bibles and furniture were burned during a raid on his church on Sept. 5.
And then we have this?
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Vatican and China look set to sign a landmark agreement later this month intended to reunite China’s state-backed Catholic church with the “underground” church that is still loyal to Rome, and which operates without official state approval.
While the deal could still fall through or be delayed by “unforeseen events,” it could mean that Beijing recognizes the pope as the head of the Catholic Church in China, the paper said.
Such a concession would be matched by the recognition and rehabilitation of seven Chinese bishops who were excommunicated by the pope after being appointed by Beijing without the approval of the Vatican, it said.
A deal seems likely.