Christian parents in China have shared how their schoolchildren are being taught that Christianity is an “evil cult” and encouraged to “hate God” as the Communist country continues to tighten its grip on religion. Persecution watchdog Bitter Winter, says that since the Regulations on Religious Affairs legislation was implemented last year, schools around China have adopted “unprecedented measures” to keep students away from Christianity. The policy has resulted in children being encouraged to question their parents beliefs and report those closest to them to authorities. Stories shared with Bitter Winter, reveal the magnitude of China’s animosity towards Christianity.
One boy explained to his mother “If you believe in Christianity, you will leave home and not take care of me. You might set yourself on fire, too.” Another mother shared how, after discovering an anti-Christian school textbook in her son’s backpack, she hid many of the items that identified her as a believer to help her son with his anxiety. A month later, when her son found another religious leaflet in his mother’s bag by chance, he “angrily took a fruit knife from the kitchen and fiercely poked several holes in it,” according to the outlet. He then threatened his mother to give up her faith because “Christianity is an evil cult” and she “mustn’t believe in it.”
“Before starting school, I told my child about God’s creation, and he believed it,” the woman explained. “But after being taught at school, my child is a different person. In atheistic China, these innocent children have been taught to hate God.” Kindergarten and primary schools are also teaching children how to oppose religion. A primary school in Xinzheng city in the central province of Henan has encouraged young children to refrain from believing in any deity. “If your mum goes to church and believes in God, she doesn’t want you as her child anymore,” one teacher said. Another school screened a propaganda video in which Jesus followers were depicted as big scary monsters.
After the presentation was complete, a teacher warned that Christian relatives might “cast spells” on the youngsters. One of the parents said that as a result, her son actively opposed her reading religious books at home. Another student was terrified that his mum was going to be led away by police. Others students were advised to “supervise” their parents to ensure that they don’t practice their faith. “It leads to a dead-end,” one young student said of his father’s Christian faith. “If you attend gatherings, you will be arrested.” China introduced revised regulations on religion in February, which included banning under-18s from attending church or receiving any religious education.
The new regulations have forced primary schools in Henan to warn parents that they are not allowed to breach the country’s laws on the practice of religion. “No one may use religion to disrupt social order, or impede the national education system,” according to a letter circulating through various Schools. “It is an offense for any organization or individual to guide, support or permit minors to believe in religions or participate in religious activities,” it warned. Officials have also reportedly claimed schools are places “for the state to foster students to build up socialist society,” with parents having an obligation “to nurture children in accordance with national laws.”
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