Local governments across China have launched waves of measures to boycott Christmas – celebrations, decorations, and presents.
The anti-Christmas moves have swept rapidly across churches, shopping centers, and schools all over. As a result, Christmases 2018 in China have seemed cold and cheerless, so some hotels have tried to pick up the slack – by hosting Christmas events at their venues.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities are onto them – and penalizing them for doing so.
A Three-Self church in Ningling county under the jurisdiction of Shangqiu city in central Henan province, held their Christmas event early, on December 16, in order to evade the harassment of authorities. The church leader spent 4,000 RMB (nearly $600) to rent a hotel lobby for two hours.
That evening, several hundred Christians gathered at the hotel and were watching some holiday performances, which attracted the attention of nearby police.
“Why did you provide a venue to a religious group? Don’t you know the state doesn’t allow them to celebrate Christmas,” one police officer asked the hotel owner.
Afterward, the police issued the hotel owner a 20,000 RMB (about $ 3,000) fine along with the warning that he’s “absolutely forbidden from letting this happen again.”
According to an inside source, to avoid being penalized by authorities, the hotel owner had to spend thousands of yuan treating police and giving them gifts before the matter was settled.
“If we had known things were going to turn out this way, we wouldn’t have rented the space out no matter what,” one server at the hotel said. “Not only did we not make a profit, but we also lost money. In the future, we’ll host any type of event only if it doesn’t have anything to do with Christianity.”
Consider it a win for the CCP.
The inside source said that prior to the arrival of Christmas, the authorities issued a notice forbidding street-side shops from putting up stages for performances, sales, and other promotional activities for Christmas; the hotel’s punishment was apparently related to this provision.
A hotel in northeast Liaoning province’s Shenyang city was also heavily penalized by authorities for hosting a celebration on Christmas Eve.
On December 24 at 7 p.m., over 200 people were preparing for a celebration in the hotel (which was not organized by a religious group) when suddenly, more than ten vehicles from the municipal Cultural Affairs Bureau, Public Security Bureau, the city’s Fire Division, and local police station surrounded the hotel.
A witness said that four fully-equipped police officers rushed into the hotel, and a government official berated the hotel manager, saying: “Christmas celebrations aren’t allowed in Communist Party territory.”
The hotel was fined 130,000 RMB (about $19,300) on the spot on the grounds that they had held a celebration event without applying for approval.
Reported by Li Pei