China’s Communist Youth League, what The Diplomat labels “the cradle for generations of Chinese Communist Leaders,” has released a video on social media called “What if Atheism is a Religion?” The propaganda film employs the style of Japanese comics and satire to pull young viewers in. The video tells viewers atheists believe in miracles because a day without God is a day with a miracle. The video also says that, “It is the people rather than God who saved the world” and encourages viewers to pray to the “almighty self.” While the video has gained popularity among China’s predominantly atheist population, it should not be viewed as a sign of a turning tide toward atheism. Christianity is growing at exponential rates in China and there are more believers than ever now. In addition, the fact that the video portrays atheism as a religion in itself could be a sign that China’s government sees it is losing the battle against religion, and may represent a new approach to to counteracting Christianity’s growth.
5/17/2017 China (The Diplomat) – China’s Communist Youth League, the cradle for generations of Chinese Communist leaders, tends to be more and more active in the “battlefield” of public opinion, among the youth in particular. Recently, the Communist Youth League launched a new battle on religions: it posted a self-made video on its Weibo, Chinese equivalent of Twitter, to promote atheism.
The 11-minute video is called “What If Atheism Is a Religion?” Different from traditional Chinese communist propaganda or Western religious promotion, the video employed the style of satire and funny Japanese comics in order to cater to the contemporary young internet generation.
The video proposed the following fundamental questions:
What if atheism is a religion?
If atheism is a religion, who will be the icons?
Who saved the world, God or the people?
What kind of activities do atheists conduct?
The video starts as a young, innocent man meets a group of atheists dressed in white robes. The atheist “pastor” tells the young man that every day is a miracle to the atheist because the “atheist religion” believes that a day without God is the day with a miracle.