“A narrow-minded soul would view any difference as opposition and diversity as adversary. But to a broad-minded one, difference means richness in colors and postures, and diversity embodies unity and harmony,” Mr. Ye Xiaowen at Chung Chi College of Chinese University of Hong Kong stated in 2001.
If you go back a few decades, Mao Zedong stated that, “Atheism must take the place of belief in a God,” according to his writings. And, if you go back even further, Karl Marx, the founding theorist of communist ideology, called religion, famously, the “opiate of the masses,” and that, “communism begins where atheism begins.”
What’s the underlying conflict in these many opinions, though? The reality versus the conceptualized world of philosophy and political ideology.
The “People’s” Republic of China (PRC), has long been a threat to the faithful living in the realms of the post-modern communistic state. Recently, Freedom House conducted research on the ability of faith practitioners to exercise their beliefs in the communist led state. As expected, per the track record of the Chinese government’s respect of freedom of faith in the past, the faithful are persecuted and repressed at record levels.
Christian denominations, such as main stream Catholicism and Protestantism, make a major cross-section of the accused, based on the Freedom House analysis. Despite a resurgence of faith within the Chinese state, the government has doubled its efforts to crack down on these religious groups.
Christians aren’t the only ones to be singled out either. Though Christians have been classified of being at “high” risk for persecution, members of the Falun Gong, the Uighur Muslims, and Buddhists from Tibet are considered to be at “very high” risk of persecution. Nevertheless, when all of these groups are lumped together, hundreds of millions of people are being persecuted for differing ideology outside the evident rule of atheistic, statist regime.
In fact, based on other recent analysis on the matters, China has, “increased internet surveillance and heavy sentences handed down to human rights lawyers, microbloggers, grassroots activists, and religious believers.” Other regulation of thought and faith have put several in these communities, in addition, in compromising scenarios that end in the continued deprivation of personal liberties and human rights.
For the past five years, control and repression policies have become tighter on the religious Chinese. And, sadly, the severity of punishments still remains at gruesome highs. Most notable, the practice of forced organ harvesting, brought to light by the massive disappearance of Falun Gong practitioners, persists.
The faithful in the country, admirably, still feel reserved in their beliefs and want to stand up for it.
We need to account for these risks, as well. China’s human rights record is dismal and only getting worse. As the Heritage Foundation argued on 2010, China must account for its restriction of religious practice with an American China policy holding to country accountable through all possible means for violating the most basic human rights of its citizens.