Week 12 Wrap up: Greg Bombara

As this semester draws to an end and we come to the end of our intriguing study of Chinese Cults and Religions it seems necessary to pause and reflect on where we have come and highlight some of the most important and fascinating aspects of our interrogatories. We started this semester trying to understand how the Chinese government rules China, if it does at all, we learned how the reach and influence of the government diminishes as you move further into the countryside. We learned about how the Chinese government seems to be putting up a facade of well being and growth to look good in the international level, but they have forgotten about their citizens and have used them as mere means to and ends and not and ends in and of themselves. By looking at the citizens as mere numbers rather than actual people, the government has created an environment where the average citizen needs to look to other organizations for hope and promise in their harsh lives. This is were religion in China has found it’s niche. From books as God is Red we have learned that many people who become religious do it because their life was in shambles, caused by the government, and the church offered them some type of new hope or new beginning. Furthermore, we have studied the growth of movements, some may say religion, of Falun Gong and how that appeals to the needs of the citizens that the government has not been able to fulfill. The government has always been critical of religion because they see it as a threat to their sovereignty. They have constantly enacted new reforms and programs to try and suppress religion, which have never worked fully. Subsequently after each new reform or program religion has grown in strength. Perhaps the most important thing to understand about China in regards to religion, is how spiritual it has always been and how integral the interaction of the spiritual world has been in the daily lives of the average Chinese citizen. Form ancestor worship to fungshui Chinese life has been influenced by the terrestrial and spiritual world interplay for thousands of years. This perhaps is what the government needs to understand that no matter what they do, or how hard they try to crush religion it will never happen due to the deep need for religion in the lives of the Chinese. In these last few weeks CIT south bend will be working to more fully understand the Falun Gong movement through our work in our video essay.


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