Minors in China's Hebei province prevented from attending early morning mass

Published 06 December 2019  |  
(Photo: Unsplash/zhang kaiyv)

Village and town leaders in Hebei province, China are preventing minors from attending early morning mass, by strictly enforcing the rule that prohibits minors from entering churches.

On November 7, local government officials raided a church in Renqiu city of Xianxian Diocese when they saw children entering the church. "[They] immediately ordered the church to ban minors from entering and sent people to guard the church to keep children out," one of the parishioners said.

Several churches in Qujiazhuang of Zhangjiakou Diocese and Shijiazhuang Diocese and a church in Hexizhai in Zhaoxian Diocese, and a few other churches in Hebei parishes forbid minors from entering the holy place.

In Qujiazhuang, Father Wang Zhengui from the Qujiazhuang Immaculate Conception Church officially announced that "from now on, only adults can be acolytes, children are not allowed," said a local source who wished to remain anonymous.

The priest promised to implement the rule and ban children from entering morning mass by signing a letter of assurance with the authorities.

"There is no legal requirement to prohibit minors from entering churches. It's clearly the intention of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to brainwash children into accepting atheism from an early age," Father Paul of Xianxian Diocese said.

"If the CCP requires children to reject religion, inculcates atheism into children and forces children to accept atheism, it's against their own rules," the priest added.

Calling the practice "evil," one of the parish chairman said, "Children are the future of the Church. If the CCP doesn't allow them to enter churches, they will lose themselves and their souls in this materialistic society. The CCP is doing evil and destroying people."

A priest from Hebei province told UCA News that "If the CCP can brainwash children, not only will the root of the Church be destroyed, but also the souls of children will be lost and this society will become infinitely rotten."

Father John from Hebei province said, "Some deliberately have switched classes from Fridays to Sundays to prevent them attending Sunday school or services."

According to local sources, authorities prohibit religious media from publishing any content related to the matter. Authorities are trying to kill churches by making sure nothing is being passed on to the younger generation, a media source said.

Additionally, some local printers even refuse to print religious leaflets for evangelism. "Advertising the sale of aphrodisiacs and gambling services can be printed, but only religious items are not allowed. What kind of country is this?" Father John said.

Some priests believe such rules are an attempt to weaken churches in China.

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