Authorities in Liaoning Province have put together strategies to curb religious beliefs at a grassroots level.
As of May, the authorities in Liaoning’s Shenyang have been using a public promotional campaign for the development of the city to crack down on religious beliefs. The campaign, calling for the creation of “a threefold city,” referring to a “civilized, sanitary, and eco-friendly city,” includes displaying of propaganda pamphlets and banners against religious faith in public places. Ordinary citizens are also encouraged to report believers.
At the end of each month, each community in the city receives a report that specifies the details of various anti-religion activities. They mention the number of people at religious venues investigated, the number of arrested, the value of the items seized, the scope of patrol activities, and so on.
Bitter Winter recently accessed a document on “religious faith crackdown campaign” issued by a government-run company in Liaoning.
The document calls for systematic cooperation between work units within the company with community organizations at various levels to crack down on religious beliefs. Each work unit must sign a “statement of promise,” where their leaders will monitor the employees, and the employees will monitor their families.
As per the document, the responsibility to curb religious belief lies with each individual across teams and families to achieve “full coverage, no dead ends, and no blind spots.”
The document encourages to strengthen daily anti-religious propaganda and education efforts. Whenever religious persons are discovered, they must be “educated” through “ideological transformation.” If they still hold onto their belief, then a specially designated person is assigned to monitor them. A 24-hour “dynamic control” program is put in place for the most active or vocal believers, and the designated persons are requested to assist officials from public security bureaus in their investigations.
Reported by Piao Junying