CHINA – China: Christian schoolchildren forced to tick ‘no religion’ box
World Watch Monitor | Oct. 2, 2018
More than 300 Christian children in two high schools in Zhejiang province, which has been referred to as the “Jerusalem of the East” for its strong Christian presence, have been asked to fill out a form stating that they did not follow a religion, World Watch Monitor has been told by a trusted local source.
While “it is normal for a school to ask parents to fill out a form which includes questions of faith when a child is first enrolled in school, for many years this hasn’t been an issue”, our source, who wished to remain anonymous, explained.
Schools in China are government-controlled and financed and therefore communist in ideology, and Christian children have sometimes faced “shaming” incidents, “but the extent of such shaming was to prevent them from joining the Communist Youth League, thereby denying them any of the perks that come with a progression to Communist Party Member later in life”, World Watch Monitor was told.
“In this case, however, the children were handed a questionnaire in class about faith, which is not normal. It seems this is part of the new push to identify Christians and give them pressure of one sort or another.
“Children in this part of China would write ‘Christian’ because of 1) their innocence and 2) they come from families of fervent believers who do not compromise their faith.”