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G-CPTN
4th May 2014, 20:28
BBC News - Chinese Christians fear crackdown (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-27278158)

BenThere
4th May 2014, 20:30
I recently read that China has more practicing Christians than any nation on earth. Christianity in Africa is huge and growing.

Who'd'a thunk?

PTT
4th May 2014, 20:33
Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou, China, demolished - UPI.com (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/04/30/Protestant-church-in-Wenzhou-China-demolished/6411398881413/)
An 85,000-square foot Protestant church in the coastal city of Wenzhou, China, was demolished on orders of the Chinese Communist Party.

The $5 million Sanjiang Church, dominating the city skyline with soaring spires, high ceilings and stained glass and finished in 2013 after six years of construction, was four times the size building permits allowed, officials said. Activists, though, say the demolition was part of a campaign against Christians throughout Zhejiang province, and claim a dozen more churches in the area face demolition.

China denies persecution of Christians - CNN.com (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/01/world/asia/china-church-demolished/)
Local officials responsible for the demolition say the church was an illegal structure that was four times the permitted structure size. But Christian groups are concerned that the demolition signals an official campaign against religious organizations.

I guess time will tell which side's story is straight.

racedo
4th May 2014, 21:55
I can understand a metre here or there on a large structure..................4 times the size !!!!!!!!!!

con-pilot
4th May 2014, 22:22
I've never seen any active Chinese government anti-Christian activity in China, but I've only been in the big cities.

But then again, I never looked for any.

mini
4th May 2014, 23:07
The sooner we eradicate religion, the sooner the world will be at peace.

mini, happily married to someone who apparently I should have shot.

Get real guys...

jolihokistix
4th May 2014, 23:41
If they are going to go down this road I hope they will be even-handed and knock down illegally-built schools, synagogues, and mosques too. :D

Terry Dactil
5th May 2014, 00:08
I recently read that China has more practicing Christians than any nation on earth. Christianity in Africa is huge and growing.
Just shows that the world is really full of superstitious and gullible people.
Thank God I am an atheist! :ok:

Tankertrashnav
5th May 2014, 09:31
The sooner we eradicate religion, the sooner the world will be at peace.


Oh goodie! Yet another thread where the opposing factions come up with sets of statistics to prove that more people died under atheistic regimes (USSR, Cambodia) etc, than ever did in the cause of religion (crusades etc), and vice versa.

Basil is right. If the population of the world was reduced overnight to one street of houses, it would only be a matter of time before the ones in the odd numbers were carrying out raids across the street to attack those dreadful people in the even numbers.

Fareastdriver
5th May 2014, 09:37
I flew out of Wenzhou for a couple of months. You could see six church spires from the control tower. The village ones were still functioning but ones in the city had been taken over and used as police stations or similar during the Cultural Revolution. There was a brand new one not two kilometres from the airfield.

Shenzhen also had two new build Churches in Shenzhen City visible from the air on our normal departure route so I can assume there were more.

I have never witnessed any religious oppression by either officialdom or otherwise. The only concern Beijing has, as far as I understand, are those religions that place a LIVING diety above the State. That is the Roman Catholics, the Pope, and certain Buddists, the Dalai Lama. Others that fall foul are radicals like Moonies, Jehovah's Witness, or whichever name they are using.

For a structure to be demolished on the basis of it being oversized simply proves that the perpetrators didn't take the right people out to dinner.

An interesting feature about Wenzhou that it is cut off geographically from the rest of China by mountains. This has led to the local dialect being incomprehensible to the rest of the country. It was also heavily influenced by Jesuit missionaries in the 20th Century, the inevitable result of which there is a genetic input of blond and raven haired offspring. Wenzhou is famed throughout China for the beauty of its women because of this and believe me, there are some real stunners.

Lonewolf_50
5th May 2014, 12:13
I have never witnessed any religious oppression by either officialdom or otherwise. The only concern Beijing has, as far as I understand, are those religions that place a LIVING diety above the State. That is the Roman Catholics, the Pope, and certain Buddists, the Dalai Lama.
You might want to not be so full of crap next time.

The Pope is not a deity, nor has he ever been, in Roman Catholicisim.
Do a little homework to discover who the deity was (Jesus Christ, part of the Triune God) whose servant the Pope is. His position is head of the clergy, and head of the Church. He is styled The Vicar of Christ on earth, and the Bishop of Rome.
Some Popes get canonized/beatified after death, none while alive. (Even then, a saint is not a deity ... at least not in Roman Catholic theology).

Originally, the position was "first among equals" and in an ideal sense still is. However, politics and the medeival heirarchical structure makes the "one guy in charge of the church" in reality "the HMFIC" in a funny hat.

That said, for centuries the Pope was in many ways "another Prince of Europe" and acted for all intents and purposes as another bloody monarch/kind of royalty. That hasn't been true for over two hundred years, and for sure not since Vatican I in 1870.

As to tensions between the State and the Church, the Chinese are right to be wary of people having split loyalties. Oddly enough, our country over here, the US, had serious issues with the Pope for that very reason. (As recently as the 1960 election, when people wondered if it was appropriate for a Roman Catholic to be president, as his faith might induce him to defer to the Pope's moral/ecclesiastical authority.) I'd say the Chinese are right to keep an eye on things.

Fareastdriver
5th May 2014, 12:50
You might want to not be so full of crap next time.

Having worked there for fifteen years I think I know a lot more about China than you do.

Maybe diety wasn't the right word but the way that RCs hold the Pope in such awe is more than enough.

Lonewolf_50
5th May 2014, 12:58
Having worked there for fifteen years I think I know a lot more about China than you do. As I was taking you to task on your referring to the Pope as a living deity, I'd suggest you read for comprehension next time. I have no doubt that you understand China very well, and the cultural nuances far better than I.
Maybe diety wasn't the right word but the way that RCs hold the Pope in such awe is more than enough.
Given that the line of guff you were selling had to do with religion, I'd say knowing what is or isn't a deity is pretty critical to the point you were trying to make.

Beyond that, the points I made after explaining to you the actual position of the Pope, and your last point (in terms of the fear of deference to papal authority) are very much in accord. :ok: (In other words, our assessment is along the same lines, regardless of our disparity in Chinese cultural awareness).

An added thought: consider how very many Catholics do not show all that much deference to the Pope, to include a few orders of nuns who support female use of contraception! :ok: (And a few centuries back, devout Catholics like Martin Luther left the Faith due to various Papal tomfoolery).

Tankertrashnav
5th May 2014, 14:53
Fareastdriver - I was brought up as a Roman Catholic and we were taught that the pope was infallible, but only in a very specific way, ie when pronouncing ex cathedra on articles of faith. This whole question of papal infallibilty has led non Catholics to have an erroneous concept of the way the pope is viewed by members of the church. We were also taught that we were to obey the laws of the land, and to live as good citizens. I had no problem whatseover in swearing allegiance to the Queen, who is, of course, the head of the Church of England - in other words, the leader of the opposition!

Echoing what lonewolf has said, Catholics dont see the pope as a deity, nor do they worship the saints, or indeed Our Lady, but may pray to them to intercede on their behalf - a bit like writing to your MP to ask the prime minister to do something!

Cacophonix
5th May 2014, 15:15
I was brought up as a Catholic (although one half of the family is Jewish).

Was packed off to a Catholic private shool were one of the brothers (Brother James, a most extraordinary Spanish man) had worked for years as a Catholic missionary in China up until the end of the Second World War.

He practised a mixture of Buddhism aligned to Catholicism and despite his age and heart problems would get up to meditate at four every morning. His tales of China left me spellbound and geography lessons were always interesting.

He had a quirky sense of humour and had a story (told with a broad smile and laughter) of the poor priest who had become fixated by the fear that the Japanese would destroy the iconography of his mission church so he placed all the valuables in a house outside the mission boundary only for the very first Japanese bomber that attacked the mission to hit the house and fulfill the poor man's fears in one go.

At the end of the war the Chinese Communists placed a bounty on Brother James' head and he just made it out of China. He relocated to my school in South Africa where taught and lived for the rest of his life. He died not long after he had flogged a little sense into my addled brain.

RIP BJ.

Caco

TomJoad
5th May 2014, 18:18
Oh goodie! Yet another thread where the opposing factions come up with sets of statistics to prove that more people died under atheistic regimes (USSR, Cambodia) etc, than ever did in the cause of religion (crusades etc), and vice versa.

Basil is right. If the population of the world was reduced overnight to one street of houses, it would only be a matter of time before the ones in the odd numbers were carrying out raids across the street to attack those dreadful people in the even numbers.

Tend to agree, it's in our nature. And therein lies the premise of most religions and certainly Christianity.

TomJoad
5th May 2014, 18:39
Fareastdriver - I was brought up as a Roman Catholic and we were taught that the pope was infallible, but only in a very specific way, ie when pronouncing ex cathedra on articles of faith. This whole question of papal infallibility has led non Catholics to have an erroneous concept of the way the pope is viewed by members of the church. We were also taught that we were to obey the laws of the land, and to live as good citizens. I had no problem whatsoever in swearing allegiance to the Queen, who is, of course, the head of the Church of England - in other words, the leader of the opposition!

Echoing what lonewolf has said, Catholics dont see the pope as a deity, nor do they worship the saints, or indeed Our Lady, but may pray to them to intercede on their behalf - a bit like writing to your MP to ask the prime minister to do something!

I agree wholeheartedly with your post above Tankertrashnav. In my humble opinion it sums up the great conceit of those who claim religion to be the cause of this that and everything else that is wrong with mankind. Better that they put more effort into being informed before they make a judgement. From the "worship" of Saints to the nature of the Immaculate Conception, papal infallibility etc, all too often pronounced upon and denigrated with complete ignorance. I am sure the other great religions and traditions suffer the same slight from those ready to condemn and blame. Our inhumanity to our own kind, a far greater predilection than observed anywhere else in the animal kingdom, speaks for itself. It owes nothing to organised religion rather points to our own fallen nature. John Lennon was without question an exceptional songwriter, not a personal favourite, but he was well off the mark in suggesting "no religion" would herald peace on earth. In my humble opinion of course.

Tankertrashnav
5th May 2014, 22:43
John Lennon was without question an exceptional songwriter, not a personal favourite, but he was well off the mark in suggesting "no religion" would herald peace on earth.

"Imagine no possessions" as Lennon wrote, sitting at his white Steinway grand in his luxury apartment in the Dakota Building overlooking Central Park.

And they call religious people hypocrites :yuk:

BenThere
6th May 2014, 00:23
I'd say the signature of post-WWII Western culture is its astounding retreat from general religious observance as a cultural norm and equally general embracing of the secular exclusion of faith.

So what we are, and will be, experiencing over the next few decades is how the abandonment of religion plays out. As for me, though I'm no more than a Deist, I foresee terrible troubles. We mostly got our upbringing with a religion bent. Most kids today don't have that benefit/burden. Think they'll turn out good?

pigboat
6th May 2014, 03:26
So what we are, and will be, experiencing over the next few decades is how the abandonment of religion plays out. As for me, though I'm no more than a Deist, I foresee terrible troubles. We mostly got our upbringing with a religion bent. Most kids today don't have that benefit/burden. Think they'll turn out good?

As traditional religion is abandoned, another will arise in the vacuum left behind. Take a peek at it.


Taki's Magazine... Racism: The Eighth Deadly Sin. (http://takimag.com/article/racism_the_eighth_deadly_sin_jim_goad#axzz30txNEH6Y)

Worrals in the wilds
6th May 2014, 06:44
Interesting article.
Reading the list of traditional Christian evils (lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride) it struck me that our popular culture (and its ever fawning media) currently tout all seven as desirable traits. :hmm:
1. Twerking etc
2&3. Obsesity rates, food entertainment TV/books
4. The massive holiday/vacation industry
5. megaphone politics, internet rage, cyberbullying
6. Legions of media articles about how the rich and famous are Better Than You, followed by articles about them falling from grace so we can all sneer
7. the 'your own happiness is paramount' movement, where you are the most important thing in the universe...


Contrast these with the seven heavenly virtues; Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Forgiveness, Kindness and Humility. Practically the only mention of these in the popular media is in an occasional feel-good story at the end of the nightly news. The first two and the last one are pretty much seen as negative traits these days.

Pinky the pilot
6th May 2014, 07:51
Good post Worrals!:ok: Sums up so called modern society quite well, I think.:(

Cannot remember exactly where but somewhere in 'the good book' it is written that at some time 'evil shall become good and good shall become evil,' or words to that effect.

Lonewolf_50
6th May 2014, 15:45
pigboat:

Racism as a position and an action violates the second part of The Greatest Commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your hear and all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself." (Ref is Luke 10 ...)
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
If one takes the line that a racist must hate him/herself, one might see a certain logic (if not virtue) in the point of view of a racist, but it remains a sin as following that negative aim succumbs to the Devil and lets hate rule one's heart rather than charity*. (OK, I'll stop with the amateur theology ... )

*See the King James Version of 1 Corinthians 13 for the outline of "charity," which is now presented as "love" but which seems to mean "love of God and of neighbor as of self" ...

BenThere
6th May 2014, 17:18
Yes. Worrals has it right. I'm on the side of the virtues, as they are what sustain us.

Modern culture has turned from them, but they are eternal and will re-emerge, but only after almost all is lost.

I can't understand the hostility modern Western Civilization has adopted toward the old values of honor, honesty, valor, family, work-ethic and all that. They served us well through the last several centuries. We've generally thrown out the social instruction along with the dogma that religion gave us, but we haven't effectively replaced it.

I see unbelievable turmoil ahead.

Keef
6th May 2014, 18:16
1 Corinthians 13 uses the word ἀγάπη (agape) in the original Greek. When it was translated into Latin, the word "caritas" was used - probably the nearest/best equivalent. That inevitably meant the medieval translators would use "charity", which is wrong in modern English.

ἀγάπη means "love", in the sense of caring about the other person, and that person's well-being - caring about them, if you like. Greek, like Latin, has several words for love. We have one.

There are many who would dispense with "christian" morality and teaching, without necessarily having anything of equivalent worth to replace it. I'll stick with ἀγάπη and the other principles I've learned over the decades.

Lonewolf_50
6th May 2014, 18:25
Keef, indeed. Love comes in many forms, and the agape love is where that passage began.

The RSV translation of that same passage renders it as love, and it thus becomes one of the most used readings at Christian weddings across all denominations. I just did such a reading at a wedding on Saturday last, for a wonderful young couple.
12: 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
32 And I will show you a still more excellent way.

13 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends;
as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I am used to hearing it go all the way to the end, but the reading excerpt I was provided ended it there, at "love never ends" with "love never fails" as the translation used.

Whatever, it's a lovely sentiment. :), be it the romantic sort or of "loving one's neighbor" sort.

I wonder how it comes across in the vernacular, in Chinese. :confused:

airship
6th May 2014, 19:34
All the Chinese have to do (to protect Christians and Christianity in China) is to simply pass already previously-discussed legislation and produce the laws and legislation.

WTF?! "We in the west" couldn't even protect the Jews back in the early 20th century. The Jews and other minorities who live amongst us today are without any real protection. :mad:

"We in the west" today are confronted by many political parties, suggesting various policies especially "targetting immigrants", most of which are based-on formerly "3rd Reich" initiatives. Apparently, we can do nothing to fight against this (neither can our governments for some strange reason)...?! :confused:

The Chinese have our 2,000 year old history from which to learn and base their future legislation. I wish them well. If only because "we in the west" never learned anything about our own history apparently. We don't protect Jews here in EU today. But neither do we protect other religious migrants. Or just economic migrants. It's OK, we allow the Syrians to use chemical weapons against their civilian population. Prosecute our own citizens if they simply volunteer to go and fight there as individual choice. Whilst keeping our own armed forces "back in their barracks".

I'm unsure of who the real "coward" is here. I myself exclude both Jesus and Mohammed immediately. There are too many folks here who confuse "love and their Gods" IMHO. Of course they have a right to express themselves. Just that they should be beware that back in the 1940s "we put an end to certain fantasies". You may have recovered "somewhat" since then, but you're basically "overdue" for a serious correction. :ok:

Fareastdriver
6th May 2014, 19:42
They still didn't take the right people out for dinner.

Lonewolf_50
6th May 2014, 19:46
All the Chinese have to do (to protect Christians and Christianity in China)
You seem to make the presumption that "the Chinese" (whomever you mean by that) desire to, or see it as in their interest to, "protect Christianity in China." Their record on that since Mao took over speaks against any such policy or predilection.
In the last ten years, as China has in some ways become a more open society, change seems to be in the wind. To what extent is an open question. (
(As an aside, a fellow named Dwyer wrote a book once showing the parallels between the Tao and Roman Catholicism. An interesting, if not convincing, read.)

Your further rant isn't worth a response. Just because you have learned nothing from 2000 years of history does not mean others have not learned.
They still didn't take the right people out for dinner. :D:}