China Bans Online Bible Sales as It Tightens Religious Controls


#1

The Bible is printed in China but legally available only at certain bookstores. Read the NY Times article: China Bans Online Bible Sales as It Tightens Religious Controls


#2

Heard about this a few days ago. Very sad. China is cracking down more and more on freedom than I would have thought.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #3

I wonder if this is in part reactionary of them as they gawk with morbid curiosity at our present “leadership” circus. Don’t get me wrong … I am (and remain) a fan of democratic ideals, but if I were in their shoes and had other axes to grind, I could understand why they might be chortling just a bit right now (though never in public). Concepts like honor may have been jettisoned in the west, but it hasn’t been forgotten in other cultures.


#4

Well, yeah, but that’s a crackdown on freedom. I think you could easily say “If I was in Stalin’s shoes…”


(John Dalton) #5

I don’t think so. Chipping away at already limited freedoms has been the trend for a while. A pretty major blow fell lately with word that the constitution would be amended to allow current premier Xi Jinping to serve indefinitely.


#6

It’s part of a long-standing trend on curtailing religious freedom.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #7

That is a definite blow against democratic ideals – no argument there!

So does this mean you recognize that in China’s recent past there was a better time of less restriction – as in more freedom? That might not be the thesis you intended… but I am sure that is a wide continuum of totalitarianism that can and has existed.

Such comparisons that lump all communist nations into one big bucket come pretty easily to us (sort of like people of one culture thinking that those of a different culture all look the same – a source of amusement for those actually living in that other culture). I am guessing that China’s leadership would bristle at your comparison of them with Stalin’s Gulag. If you were forced to choose a life for yourself in one of those two (China, or Stalin’s Soviet Union) would you be indifferent to the choice, thinking that they are both merely identical communist hells? I’m betting not. It would be interesting to know what Solzhenitsyn would say about that; it’s been too long since I read the Gulag. Communism doesn’t work – I’m not arguing in defense of it. I’m just point out that there are different degrees of “not working”.


(John Dalton) #8

That’s an interesting question. “More” is a relative word. I haven’t been to China personally. Since Tiananmen protesting or speaking against the party has been verboten. That hasn’t changed. People can protest against unfair local situations, and often do. One can’t question party rule though. There are more freedoms in some areas now, economically, the ability to travel overseas. People (who don’t care to butt heads with the party) have options. That applies to lucky citizens of developed urban areas mostly. Those from poor areas are going to mostly be trapped by their circumstances. What’s changing now seems to be mostly information-age concerns. They try to control things–you can’t access websites like FB and Google in China–and are trying harder. Quiet moves against other perceived weak spots (such as difficult to control religious associations) seem to be proceeding apace. My neighbor here for a short while was a pastor who was running a ministry in Shanghai, but found last year he was refused a visa. He relocated to Taipei (with his pretty large American family) but seems to have moved on.

I call them communist too–old habits die hard :slight_smile:–but they aren’t really. There’s a high degree of state control of the economy, with many government owned companies and government influence in privately owned companies. But not much a classical communist would recognize as such. Not sure the real deal survives anywhere. Only the totalitarian political control remains.

From all reports I would not care to live in China, but I don’t think there can be any comparison.


#9

Woah woah woah pal, lol. I was not talking about communism. All I was saying is that saying “If I was in their shoes” is like saying “If I was in Stalin’s shoes” to try to justify something. I could’ve picked Hitler in the comparison if I wanted to, it would be indifferent (though I didn’t because that’s becoming a little cliche …). Their perspective doesn’t matter since it’s against freedom.


#10

The Chinese government is not stupid.

An increase in Christianity would lead to conflict with millions of Muslims in China’s north-west.

Besides, there are millions of underground Christians. Overground/underground. Flourish in the open or flourish undercover. As long as they are believers.


#11

On top of that, communism is an economic system which has nothing to do with other freedoms. It wouldn’t be contradictory to have a communist economy and complete freedom of religion. It just so happens that the communist systems we are familiar were also totalitarian and authoritarian. At its simplest, communism is where the state owns everything and the workers are paid by the government according to their needs and work.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #12

so noted … I probably did extrapolate your comment to things way beyond your intent.


#13

China is a socialist economy with a communist government.


#14

Ehhh China’s market is capitalist though the government is communist (without appanrely actually implementing any communism)


#15

The market is socialist with capitalist tendencies. The communist government has a tight reign in most spheres.

Actually, China is probably more closer to National Socialism.


#16

Mmm … every source I’ve looked at since here says China is capitalist.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-china-went-from-communist-to-capitalist-2015-10#deng-launched-several-economic-reforms-that-allowed-private-sectors-to-start-and-operate-their-own-businesses-once-again-he-also-established-four-special-economic-zones-along-the-coast-of-china-with-intentions-of-attracting-foreign-investments-5

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