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.
In May this year, nearly 120 third grade students at a primary school in Hohhot city of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region were sent to a local “admonitory education base,” where they were given anti-religious education.
The personnel at the base forced the children to watch videos with violent content to condition them against religion. The children were given propaganda leaflets and told to memorize them. They were also encouraged to report believers they know.
The children were scared and disturbed, following the session. The parent of one of those students said, “When my son came home, he read the anti-religious brochure over and over again. I’m worried that these teaching materials will have a negative impact on him and misguide his perception of things.”
In another primary school in Hohhot, every class was ordered to hold a meeting to denounce religion. At the meeting, teachers told students that Protestantism, Catholicism, and other faiths are xie jiao (heterodox teachings). In one class, the teachers even forced the young and impressionable students to utter curses against religious belief.
However, this is not just about anti-religious propaganda for the CCP. They are also registering every child’s religious status.
In late September, a middle school teacher in the Liaoning’s Anshan city used a WeChat group for parents of students to warn against religious belief. He uploaded a statistical investigation table inquiring about religious status of the school’s teachers, students, and parents. He also said that practicing faith could impact their possibilities to enter the next grade and as a consequence, their prospects in life.
Similarly, a kindergarten teacher from Anshan sent a letter to parents demanding them to inculcate atheism in their children and prohibit them from participating in any religious activity such as wearing clothes with religious symbols, reading or writing religious quotations, listening to religious broadcasts, donating to places of worship, and so on. The parents were also required to acknowledge the message by returning the signed letter.
Such intense propaganda work is not only inhumane but also in violation of Article 14 of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which China is a signatory. The charter stipulates, “States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.”
Reported by Gu Qi
Last updated on November 22, 2018.