By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Authorities in China’s Wenzhou City are forcing all school teachers, including Christians, to sign a document forbidding them to profess their faith or any other religious beliefs, rights activists and other sources confirmed.
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials reportedly distributed documents to elementary schools in the city’s Longwan District, Wenzhou, “requesting” that all educators sign the “Public Pledge Form.”
The contract makes it effectively impossible for devoted Christian teachers to visit churches or openly speak about their faith. Besides banning religious beliefs, the pledge forces teachers not to engage in any practice or propagation of religion. Along with these enforced requirements, they must also support Marxist socialist principles preached by the ruling CCP, according to Christians familiar with the text.
Violators face dismissal under CCP guidelines, Worthy News learned. Meng Yuanxin, a Chinese pro-democracy activist, studying in the United States, condemned the “four points” in the “absurd teachers’ pledge form”. Meng said, “to not believe in any religion” violates Article 36 of the Chinese constitution.
The activist added that the Article “stipulates that Chinese citizens are entitled to religious freedom. And as citizens, teachers should enjoy the religious freedom and rights their constitution promises. Therefore, the directive to sign a commitment to be irreligious proves unconstitutional.”
Rights groups say the measure is part of a broader campaign against Christianity by Communist officials in Zhejiang Province. Other policies include the large-scale cross removals from church buildings and other properties. Authorities have also banned minors from attending churches and expelled Christian teachers from schools, Christians said.
“Since Xi Jinping became President of China, CCP authorities have increasingly oppressed Christians in Wenzhou,” noted ChinaAid, an advocacy group supporting Christians in the area. “Since 2014, the Zhejiang government initiated a major campaign to remove crosses from churches, including the Sanjiang Mega-Church, valued at millions of U.S. dollars. Zhejiang authorities have also ordered churches to dismiss Children’s Sunday School classes. Authorities forbid Christian teachers who have held posts in school to enter the church.”
It noted that authorities installed surveillance cameras in churches, “directly connected to the local police bureaus.” This tactic, it said,
“helps authorities identify any teacher violating China’s regulation that teachers are not to enter the church.”
According to rights investigators, the measures come amid authorities’ concerns about the spread of Christianity in China, viewed as undermining the CCP’s atheistic ideology. There may be as many as 130 million devoted Christians in China, according to several estimates.
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