Is Dialogue Better than Confrontation?

Two years ago the Chinese Communist Party and the Vatican signed a two-year agreement to seek agreement and cooperation. Yet the Party continued to implement a harsh anti-religion program reminiscent of the Mao era, removing all religious symbols in public and forbidding young people to attend religious services.

The Hong Kong South China Morning Post has being reviewing the situation. It quotes a researcher who is a Communist Party member but asks not to be named.

“This is rooted in an outdated Marxist outlook that sees religion as a backward and reactionary idealism, Crackdowns and containment are the only response. Religions and religious believers are products of an evolving society. Completely denying the value of religion today is no different to completely denying the value of our own society. This is pure self-sabotage.

“The Chinese authorities overlook the complexity of religion in China and treat believers as ‘opposing forces’. But persecution will only lead to faster growth of unauthorised religious groups, especially among Christians.

Wenzhou diocese that had more than 3,000 baptisms last year under the leadership of underground bishop Shao Zhumin, who remains a frequent target for local authorities.

“The church must keep lighting the candle of hope, trusting only God can bring forth the change. If we lose hope, we will lose everything.”

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