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Handel’s ‘Messiah’ unwelcome in China

ICC Note:

Another example of China’s repression of and paranoia over the freedom of religion.

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9/30/08 China (WorldNetDaily) China’s crackdown on Christianity is being expanded to include even classical works of music if their themes are Christian, such as Handel’s “Messiah” and Mozart’s “Requiem,” according to a new report in the Daily Telegraph.

The report said the Academy of Ancient Music, a leading orchestral and choral group in Britain, had been invited to sing Handel’s “Messiah” at the Beijing International Music Festival this month.

While the performance is being allowed to go on, the report said, it will be “by invitation only,” a move effectively disallowing members of the public from hearing the performance.

The report said the Sinfonica Orchestra di Roma also has cancelled plans to play Mozart’s Requiem in honor of the victims – and to raise money for survivors – of the Sichuan earthquake. Instead, the program will include smaller, non-religious works.

But accompanying the additional exposure to outside ideas has been an explosion of evangelical Christianity in China, with some groups active in the ministry work there estimating people are joining Christian churches across China at the rate of 3,000 per day.

Some Chinese leaders regard that as having social benefits; others view it as a threat to Communist Party control, the Daily Telegraph said.

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