CCP Demands Church to Ban Minors in Order to Reopen
07/09/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – As the pandemic in China gradually fades out from people’s attention, and the country is seeking to bring everything back to normal, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demanded a Catholic diocese in northern China to sign a document that bans children under the age of 18 from attending, if the church wanted to reopen again.
According to UCA News, this Zhengding church in Hebei province also acts as an orphanage for disabled children. Bishop Jia Zhiguo rejected signing the document, along with the entire diocese. “All parishes are required to sign a pledge that they will not allow minors to enter their churches or officials will not allow them to open churches,” a Catholic from Zhengding said.
He added that authorities were using the pandemic as a cover to suppress the Church. “This requirement of banning children was not part of the requirement anywhere else in China. The local authorities added it by themselves,” he said.
The government in Jinzhou city threatened the church that if the document is not signed, they would take over the church-run orphanage for handicapped children and the bishop’s house, while making it appear as if the local government is “buying” the property.
Nuns who took care of the children now only care for the babies who are left, since older children were removed. The CCP also asked all nuns to register with the state-approved Catholic church; otherwise, the CCP will expel them. Rarely are children who are disabled and orphaned receive any sympathy or support from the government. Churches are often the only support structure willing to care for them.
While the negotiations are still ongoing, the government has already stated its intention to seize the orphanage.
“It is outrageous and a complete lack of respect for religious rights and freedoms, and it tramples on constitutional values,” a local Catholic protested.
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