June 11th, 2005

The rules governing the church in China

Yesterday I mentioned that all churches in China have to recognise the ultimate authority of the Communist Party in order to practice here. Well, it's not quite as simple as that:

1. Christian believers must fervently love the People's Republic of China, support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the Peoples Government, uphold the unification of the motherland and the harmony among ethnic groups, and work steadfastly on the road of socialism.

2. Christian believers must strictly abide by all the laws, regulations, and policies of the Communist Party and the State, and strive to be patriotic and law abiding citizens.

3. Christian believers must actively work to increase the material wealth and cultivate the spiritual morals of the socialist civilization. They must comply with the government's labor codes and strive to contribute to the development of the "Four Modernizations." When scheduled religious activities are in conflict with production and work schedules, the economic activities must take priority.

4. A permit must be obtained from the county Religious Affairs Bureau in order to establish religious meeting points. No unauthorized meeting points are allowed.

5. Christian believers must actively cooperate with the government to carry out thoroughly the Party's religious policies to the letter. They shall not persuade and force others to believe in Christianity. They shall not brainwash teenagers under 18 with religious beliefs. They shall not bring children to religious activities.

6. One should see a doctor for medication when sick. Christian believers must not resort to prayer alone for healing so as not to endanger people's health and lives.

7. Christian believers shall not preach their religion outside the church buildings and specific places which have been designated for religious activities. They shall not preach itinerantly. They shall not receive self proclaimed evangelists into their homes, churches, or meeting points.

The Coming of the Kings of the East!

Also on the theme of the Christian right in China, someone reminded me of the role that Christian fundamentalists say China will play in their forthcoming apocalypse. They apparently believe that the rise of China is a clear sign that we are "nearing midnight", and that China's need for oil will soon push it into conflict with Israel, triggering the coming of their lord and the smiting of the godless. They also get very excited at any agreements between China and the EU (the rebirth of the Roman Empire), which they see as somehow connected to the Beast, as is Russia of course. I'd love to know how these Jesus freaks sell that to their potential converts!

You can read about it on sites like this:

Even newspapers in China now predict a war with the United States. China cannot match (yet) the U.S. in modern weapons and technology. For example, the U.S. has 18 times as many nuclear missiles. What China has many more times of is men. According to Revelation 9:14-16, an army of 200 million soldiers will cross the Euphrates from the East to fight at the battle of Armageddon.

According to Revelation 16:12, this gigantic army will belong to the "kings of the east" and advance over a prepared way. The way has been prepared. On April 20,2001, on a CNBC news program, Thomas Friedman, the New York Times international news analyst, stated that the real danger with which the United States will have to contend with in the future is China making an alliance with the nations of the East, which was now in progress.

Poking around in these dark corners of the Interweb is very entertaining as long as you try and forget that George W. Bush's administration takes a lot of this nonsense seriously, and may have it in mind as they provoke chaos and rebellion across the Middle East.