Propaganda against “xie jiao and illegal religion,” not very successful with adults, now targets children as young as 3.
by Yu Chuntao
In China, law forbids any kind of religious education f0r minors. But it does not forbid education against religion. It seems it now starts as early as kindergarten.
On October 23, some 100 children from kindergartens of the district of Jiaocheng, located in the center of the prefecture-level city Ningde, in Fujian province, were invited to a visit of the Ningde Science and Technology Museum. The excited children were duly taken to visit the museum, where they could simulate driving a train or riding in a helicopter.
However, this was the second part of their trip. In the first part, they had to go through a program of “preventive education” against xie jiao (i.e., religious movements banned as “heterodox teachings,” sometimes translated as “evil cults”) and “illegal religion.”
The children were given picture booklets, had to go through a panel exhibition, and then several movies were shown. An activist explained that these movies have been produced taking into account the “cognitive abilities” of kindergarten children. They start with cartoons children enjoy, and gradually deliver their message against “xie jiao and illegal religion.” One movie was entirely devoted to present The Church of Almighty God as a xie jiao, others admonished against “superstition” and “illegal religion” in general.
We should remember that these are children of age 3 to 6. The Chinese Communist Party is aware that propaganda against “xie jiao and illegal religion” has not been very effective, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis, and several leading figures of the national anti-xie-jiao apparatus have been fired and severely punished. It seems that the new strategy is to indoctrinate 3-year-old children—before it’s too late…