The stories of the “Little Match Girl” and  “Robinson Crusoe” altered as well as the works of Chekhov, Dumas, Hugo … All in obedience to Xi Jinping, who wants the “synicization” of religions and the rejection of “Western values”. The fear that China will become “the most Christian country in the world”.ew regulations ask Catholics to elect their bishops democratically and report to the state administration

by Wang Zhicheng

08/01/2019, 11.16

(Photo by Takashi Funakoshi, Asahi Shimbun)

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Words like “God”, “Bible” and “Christ” have been erased from a textbook for elementary school children. In an attempt to reduce adhesion to religions (and in particular to Christianity), or to submit them to forced “synicization”, these words have been censored even in stories by foreign authors.

At the beginning of the year, the government linked Publishers for the Education of the People, printed a book for fifth grade students, which contains four stories by foreign writers and others by classical Chinese authors.

According to the Chinese Mministry for Education, the book aims to offer students an understanding of other cultures. Unfortunately, however, the stories are manipulated to respond to the imperative of the Party to stifle any religious reference. 

In the story of the “Little Match Girl”, by Hans Christian Andersen, at a certain point, the child’s dead grandmother appears to her in vision who tells her: “When a star falls, a soul goes to be with God”. In the “Chinese” version, the grandmother says: “When a star falls, a person leaves this world”.

Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” also suffered censorship: shipwrecked on an isolated island, the adventurous protagonist manages to recover three copies of the Bible from the remains of the shipwreck. The new version eliminates the word “Bible” and says that Crusoe managed to save a “few books” from the destroyed ship.

A part has been eliminated from the story “Vanka” by Anton Chekhov, telling of a prayer in church and the word “Christ” has been erased everywhere.

The censorship of Christian religious elements is also widespread at other school levels. In the universities there are professors who condemn the classics containing words concerning religion to censorship, and confiscate them. These would include “The Count of Montecristo” by A. Dumas, “Resurrection” by Lev Tolstoy, “Notre-Dame de Paris” by Victor Hugo, etc …

All these operations respond to the directives launched by President Xi Jinping in 2015, according to which religions, in order to exist in China, must “become synonymous”, assimilate themselves to Chinese culture and submit to the Communist Party. Their “synicization” is obtained by extolling nationalistic patriotism and despising “foreign” religions, such as Christianity.

According to observers, the campaign against Christianity is due to the fear that China will become the “most Christian country in the world” by 2030, as some sociologists expect (Fenggang Yang). At the same time, it also acts as a shield from ideas such as democracy, human rights, justice, the rule of law.

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