A memorial archway at one of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism has been forcibly demolished, and the president of the Mount Jiuhua Buddhist Association has been placed under house arrest.
It’s a common practice for Chinese law enforcement authorities to use hotels and hospitals or entire buildings as secret interrogation and indoctrination bases for religious believers and political dissidents. Bitter Winter has uncovered some such centers in the provinces of Gansu and Shaanxi.
Local authorities in parts of China are organizing “alternative” events nearby the places of worship in an attempt to deter people from participating in religious activities.
Established in the 19th century, the church and its parish in Shanxi’s Dongergou village was a massive draw for nearby believers and pilgrims alike. The use of the church was prohibited in July, but members of the congregation still hold mass outside it.
The Chinese government already maintains a firm grip on citizens’ Internet use. Words and phrases like “Hallelujah,” “Amen,” “Thank God” and “Jesus” are now even more sensitive than they already were to plug into a search engine.
According to an internal document, the CCP is tightening the noose around the flow of information regarding its persecution of religion.
The authorities are collecting information on the religious beliefs of children and are forcing teachers to impart CCP propaganda during classes in schools and kindergartens.
Last year, Fujian authorities forcibly shut down and demolished some factories on the pretext of “combating pollution.” The owners were denied compensation and illegally detained while fighting for their rights.
Two giant Buddha statues were demolished in September, despite the attempts by local believers to protect them.