This week’s shout out goes to BBC News again for their article “Chinese journalist detained over ‘Xi resignation letter’ is released”. It is becoming a theme for me to follow the BBC and I am very interested in how the Chinese government takes journalists into custody. It seems to me to be a clear cut violation of basic human rights to prevent free speech. The article is worth the read.
Shout out to the Purdue Professor who released an article about a prominent human rights lawyer who was put in jail for speaking out against the cross demolition campaign. The lawyer was arrested and detained for 7 months and was finally released after confessing his crimes in what is to believed to have been a forced confession. More work similar to the work of this professor needs to be done in order to shed more light on the situation in China. Since current western media is caught up in other dynamic issues that are more prominent in people’s lives in the west it is up to people like this professor to spread the word and make more people aware of the mistreatment in China.
In our nine weeks of investigating Chinese religions and cults and various policies implemented by the government to control the spread and practices of religion, I still find the ideas of religio-genesis and persecution most interesting. As we have just started studying Christianity and its early growth, it will be interesting to relate the persecution of one of the most widespread religions to the various persecuted religions in China of the current day. I am sure we will find many similarities but also not a few differences in the upbringing of all of these persecuted religions. It seems then, that no matter where and no matter what religion, persecution always makes the faith in said religion stronger and attract more followers because of these strong-willed proponents of the faith, who even while facing the dangers of torture and possible execution stand firm in their faiths.
This week’s shout out goes to a recent TIME article which examined the growth of Buddhism in China as directly related to the failings of both the communist party’s ‘effective’ control over the nation and the failings of capitalism in the country. Buddhism’s growth, according to the article, has had such a surge because the people are looking to something more than the empty promises of capitalism and the party and are, thus, putting more pressure on the party to loosen the restrictions on their ‘freedom of religion’. This is just as we have spoken about so many times in class, and this article again speaks to the fact that China is not truly an atheist nation, especially if such a great portion of its population does, in fact, believe in something other than nothing.
After 9 weeks of studying we have rounded out our look into Chinese religion and started to look into early Christianity. Religion and the government’s treatment of religion in China never ceased to amaze me over the time that we covered it. Over the history that we have studied and up until today with Falun Gong we have seen varying levels of government fear and control of religion. These religions have had a transformative effect on the government and the every part of people’s lives despite the best efforts of Chinese officials. This transformative effect is already becoming clear from what we have read of early Christianity and the cult of Saints. This cult was able to transform the way the people thought and lived, making what was considered taboo into a focal point of everyday life. Burying the dead and the rites that come with it was a new idea and it changed the way entire cities were laid out. Rituals to the dead is by no means new to what we have learned in this class and there are many parallels that can be drawn to Chinese religion. Moving forward I would like to remain attentive to these connections that can be made with the new material.
This weeks shout out goes to the Caixin magazine for showing their readers the censorship that the Chinese government puts them under. BBC News ran the article describing how Caixin wrote about an interview being censored by the government. The interview was about free speech and was taken down because the interview contained “illegal content” although they could not see anything that was illegal with the content.
I think it is a bold and important move to stand up to this kind of censorship, even in small ways. This was very defiant and I think that Caixin deserves recognition for what they did. China is obviously not going to stop censoring, as they are the world’s top jailer of journalists according to this article. So I say good job Caixin and I wish them the best if the Chinese government tries to strike back.BBC Article
After nine weeks of our investigation, we have seen many different examples of practices that have helped us to understand the Chinese treatment of religion, rather than specifically studying those religions themselves. We continue to examine the idea that practice is what is important for defining religion in China, not belief. This hypothesis is especially relevant because one major goal of the Chinese people seems to be to classify just about everything, whether that classification is accurate or not. Thus, if you do not fall into one of their accepted classifications (such as a Falun Gong practitioner) you are subject to brutal persecution and even organ harvesting and death. This class has provided a completely different perspective on China which diminishes my opinion of the current state of the country on a daily basis. While I do not define a country by its government, rather by the character of its people, the Chinese system disgusts me, and I feel that it is rooted in evil and sits on a “throne of lies.”