DHARAMSALA, Dec 25: China has ordered a clampdown on Christmas celebrations across cities, schools, and government institutions amidst a broader crackdown on churches.
On the eve of Christmas, the 67 million-strong Chinese Christian population in several cities, schools, and government institutions were ordered not to celebrate the holiday and to instead focus on promoting traditional Chinese culture by the communist regime, noted a report on The Guardian.
The Chinese officials have reportedly ordered all Christmas decorations to be cleared and forbade shops from selling Christmas-themed goods in the northern city of Langfang in Hebei province as the Officials alleged the measure was aimed at “maintaining stability” and controlling street hawkers, the report added.
Similar orders were reportedly in Changsha, in central Hunan province by the education bureau last week while a school in Huangshan in Anhui province recently notice from the propaganda department against celebrating the Christmas.
The notice came amidst a broader crackdown on underground churches by the communist regime.
Last week, police have reportedly raided a children’s Bible class in Guangzhou while the authorities have shut down the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu and arrested 100 members earlier this month.
The communist regime has also shut down Beijing’s Zion Church; one of the largest underground churches earlier this year in September as well.
Observers say it’s all part of an effort by the Chinese Communist Party to bring the religion under its control. On paper, Chinese citizens are free to practise any religion as long as it is officially recognised by the government, which limits worship to five faiths: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism.
Chinese police have launched a Christmas crackdown against Christians by arresting a prominent pastor, raiding churches and charging followers with ‘subverting the state’, the news.com.au reported earlier on Dec 22.
Along with the Christians, Buddhism, Islam and Falun Gong practitioners are under severe scrutiny of the communist regime.