In China, children are now prohibited from entering three very different types of establishments: nightclubs, Internet cafes, and Christian churches.
In apparent violation of the country’s constitution, and in direct violation of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Chinese government has implemented a previously reported plan to ban children from going to Christian churches. The ban reportedly went into effect Feb. 1.
Pastors and priests alike have been instructed to place signs at the doors of their churches that declare children are banned from attending services, even if they are escorted by their parents. According to one published account, the signs read:
“Minors receiving religious education and formation too early in churches would seriously affect the normal implementation of the education system and keeps them from developing a correct worldview and set of values.”
Many of the churches in the country are operated under the state-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which was established in 1957 to place them under government monitoring and control. Meanwhile, the government-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Church oversees most of the Protestant churches in China.
Furthermore, all religious sites must now be registered with the government, and their activities are closely monitored.
Crosses and banners with scripture messages are forbidden.
Many devout Christians have, in recent years, turned to underground “house churches,” but the government is now cracking down on those, as well. Religious services may not be held in unregistered locations, and non-registered clergymen are prohibited from host services.
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