Loyal readers of thegoldwater.com know that the Chinese government under President Xi Jinping has, in the past few months, ordered a crackdown on Christian bible sales and aimed to convert followers of Islam (see our related coverage), but now that directive seems to have expanded.
By now, the Chinese atheist government is going after the large Buddhist and Taoist statues that are being erected all over the country, as a directive on the United Front Work Department website stated: “the meeting required all localities to take up the regulation of large outdoor religious statues as their top priority in preventing the further commercialisation of Buddhism and Taoism.”
The latest measure is part of a growing crackdown by authorities on all items and issues linked to religion, which the Communist Party believes hampers their economy and the loyalty of the people. During the Communist Revolution of the 1960s, many Buddhist and Taoist temples had already been destroyed, but most were rebuilt by devout followers in recent years. Under President Xi Jinping however, the Communist Party is once again taking the directive of Mr Karl Marx, who famously said that ‘religion is the opium of the masses’ and must, therefore, be eradicated.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">China orders crackdown on large outdoor religious statues, targeting followers of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Buddhism?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Buddhism</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Taoism?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Taoism</a><a href="https://t.co/AQTh4mbjNW">https://t.co/AQTh4mbjNW</a> <a href="https://t.co/2zAcAVIKFr">pic.twitter.com/2zAcAVIKFr</a></p>— Taiwan News (@TaiwanNews886) <a href="https://twitter.com/TaiwanNews886/status/1000587397866893312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 27, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Even the pope in Rome this week urged the Chinese to change their stance as he spoke directly to the Catholics living there during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on 24 May, when saying: “Dear disciples of the Lord in China, the Universal Church prays with you and for you, so that even amid difficulties, you may continue to entrust yourselves to God’s will.”
Pope Francis claimed that during this period he invites all Catholic believers to be closer to those who live in China and asked for prayers so that they “may live their faith with generosity and serenity” and “be able to make concrete gestures of fraternity, harmony and reconciliation in full communion with the Successor of Peter.”