The CCP exerts an iron hand at universities across China in an attempt to make them “more patriotic.” Teachers and staff are expelled at the slightest suspicion of their faith.
The Chinese Communist Party’s control over intellectuals has again become a hot topic since the government launched its campaign to “enhance patriotism” in the summer. Since then, the indoctrination of university teachers and scholars has increased, and their work is scrutinized and controlled by the authorities to ensure their full support for the party. Since any association with religions is considered “unpatriotic,” university faculty found out of having faith in anything other than the Communist Party, are just let go.
A teacher (who wished to remain anonymous) at the prestigious Xiamen University in southeastern Fujian Province, told Bitter Winter that an associate professor at the school was recently expelled from the CCP for being a Christian. The hard-working lady was also removed from her position as a department’s director, even though she was elected unanimously.
The teacher further revealed that the central government has been sending in inspection teams to the university to investigate its Party Committee. During the last visit earlier this year, they were particularly interested in the religious beliefs of the employees.
Another faculty member at the university said, “The government has always closely watched universities because authorities believe that intellectuals can become the backbone of the church in the future. It is excruciating for believers to work at universities.”
Threatened by the government and attempting to hold on to their faith, religious university teachers often face a dilemma, according to the teacher. He gave an example. The Xiamen University requires all Party members to sit through political study twice a month. Non-members too are expected to attend one class every month. After these, they are supposed to write about what they have learned. “So, believers face a choice – should they write such reports that completely deviate from their religious belief or not?”
The purge against religious university teachers is not unique to Xiamen. At a Beijing university, an instructor was threatened out of a job also for her religious beliefs. She was told that she would not be able to secure a hukou, or household registration certificate, in Beijing-Tianjin area if she did not submit a written statement declaring her family as atheistic.
Non-teaching personnel at universities are not spared either. A logistics expert at a university in Daqing city of Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province, was fired from her job after she was discovered discussing religion with some students. She had worked at the university for 11 years and had good relations with both the school management as well as students. A cleaning lady at the same university was expelled as well for being a Christian.
Reported by Lin Yijiang