In a new set of “education” rules, the Chinese Communist Party is urging citizens to “spy” on their neighbors and “report” parents who raise their children in a “religious faith or have them attend religious services.”
In the northwestern region of Xinjiang, the government “released” the new education norms, with special “emphasis on religious formation,” according to the U.S.-based human rights group China Aid.
The new “rules,” which will go into effect on November 1, stipulate that parents cannot “organize, lure or force minors into attending religious activities,” or force them to “wear” religious dress or symbols.
Moreover, they cannot even “tolerate” that children attend “underground scripture studies.”
If parents are seen to be encouraging religion, “any group or person has the right to stop these kinds of behaviors and report them to the public security authorities,” the norms state.
While China officially guarantees the “right to religious freedom,” the Communist Party tightly “regulates” religious activities, including “religious education,” and discourages minors from receiving “religious formation.”
Chinese law “prohibits” children under the age of 18 from receiving “any” religious education, and the government approved Christian church, the “Three-Self Patriotic Movement,” explicitly “bans” its members from bringing their children up in the Christian faith, labeling the practice “brainwashing.”
Earlier this year, the “ruling” Communist Party issued an “ultimatum” to parents that if children do not stop “attending” church, they will be “barred” from attending “college” or entering the “military.”
A government office in the central Guizhou province sent a “notice” to all of the schools in the area “announcing” the decision, in an effort to “discourage” citizens from attending “independent house churches” and to switch to a “church under government control.”
The severe “policy” of the ruling party has insisted on government “dominion” even over personal matters such as “faith and family size.”
At the time, government officials “forced” members of the Huaqiu Church into “signing a document” stating that they would no longer “take minors to church.”
Now, Christian children “attending” the church are no longer “eligible” for the college entrance exam or “admittance” into a military academy. Moreover, parents who “take” their children to church are subject to “punishment.”
Authorities also announced the termination of “welfare and social security benefits” for Christians who are “caught” attending church services.
A local source said that “practicing” Christians would no longer be eligible for “social security benefits or old-age insurance.”
County officials “called on the government in the towns and villages to order believers to sign [a guarantee], stating that if they gathered again, their welfare would be cut off,” the source said.
The Chinese government has “ratcheted” up its persecution of “unofficial” religion not under government “control,” especially against Christianity, which is experiencing “dramatic growth in the country.”
In its annual report on international “freedom” released in August, the U.S. State Department “denounced” China’s continued “suppression of religious liberty.”
Despite China’s official policy of “freedom of religious belief,” the report states, in practice, “the government exercised state control over religion and restricted the activities and personal freedom of religious adherents when these were perceived to threaten state or Chinese Communist Party (CCP) interests.”