China is clamping down even harder on religion.
Remember when China seemed to be trying to show the world they could have a kind of hybrid system? That they could have a bustling economy that sort of resembled the West, alongside a friendly communist regime? See, isn’t communism swell? Well, those days are over.
Now that President Xi Jinping got China’s parliament to remove term limits from the country’s “constitution,” he will be able to rule for life. He is being called the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. In China, that’s a compliment (a REQUIRED compliment).
So, it’s no big surprise that this week, the Chinese government shut down online sales of the Bible. China already strictly controlled the sale of Bibles by allowing them to be printed and distributed only through official state churches. But in recent years, Bibles began popping up for sale through Chinese online outlets, including Amazon. Not anymore. The Koran is still available to purchase online, but no Bibles.
It's another casualty of China’s continual effort to restrict internet and religious freedom.
It's another casualty of China’s continual effort to restrict internet and religious freedom. Sarah Cook, a senior East Asia analyst at Freedom House said, “religious topics and groups are among the most censored in China. . . . We found the Chinese authorities increasingly using more high-tech methods to control religion and punish believers --- including surveillance and arrest of believers for sharing information online.”
A secretive department of the Chinese Communist Party called the United Front Work Department is in charge of the government’s overseas influence efforts. But recently, it has also taken over “ethnic and religious affairs,” which means the Communist Party is moving to further tighten its stranglehold on religion. Analysts say the specific crackdown on Christianity is driven by President Xi Jinping.
China’s “State Administration for Religious Affairs” has developed a “five-year plan” that includes work on a new, more Chinese version of the Bible. So, this ban of online Bible sales is just to clear the shelves for the new improved Commie version of scripture coming soon to Chinese pews.
“Five-year plans” --- remember who else was a big fan of those? Stalin.