Christian parents in China have warned of continued persecution against Christianity, now focusing on schoolchildren. They assert that children are being taught in school that Christianity is an “evil cult” and have been encouraged to “hate God” by their teachers. China, as a Communist country, controls every aspect of the school system and, according to Chinese persecution watchdog Bitter Winter, has increased its attacks on Christianity in is school systems since the passing of its new Regulations on Religious Affairs legislation that was implemented last year.
In fact, students have been taught to question any religious beliefs from their family members and even report them to the authorities. One parent told Bitter Winter that their child told them “My teacher says that Christianity is an evil cult. [That] if you believe in it, you will leave home and not take care of me. You might set yourself on fire, too.” Another parent, upon finding anti-Christian rhetoric in her child’s textbook, felt she had to hide items around the house that identified her as a Christian so she would not place extra anxiety on her child. The child later found a religious leaflet in his mother’s bag, took a knife and poked holes in it and told his mother to “give up her faith because Christianity is an evil cult and she mustn’t believe in it.” The Christian mother, horrified by the event, told Bitter Winter, “Before starting school, I told my child about God’s creation, and he believed it. But after being taught at school, my child is like a different person. In atheistic China, these pure and innocent children have been taught to hate God.”
This is not merely something occurring in high schools or universities. Even kindergarten and primary schools are teaching children to oppose Christianity. In late April, a primary school in Xinzheng city in the central province of Henan encouraged young children to refrain from believing in any deity. “If your mom goes to church and believes in God, she doesn’t want you as her child anymore,” one teacher told her primary school students. Another school screened a propaganda video in which Christians were depicted as monsters and a teacher told the students that Christian relatives would cast spells on the children. A letter posted by the First Primary School of Chengguan stated, “No one may use religions to disrupt social order, harm citizens or impede the national education system. It is an offense for any organizations or individuals to guide, support, permit and condone minors to believe in religions or participate in religious activities.”
This has clearly led to problems for Christian parents trying to raise their children. For example, one parent said that her son would no longer let her read religious books in front of him. Another student begged his mom to stop reading the Bible because he was afraid she would be taken from him by the police. Parents are worried that their own children will turn them in to their teachers if they read the Bible or talk about God.
Jesus understood the great need for children to be able to understand the Gospel and would not let anyone refrain from teaching young people about God. Matthew 18:6 states, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” At another occurrence, the disciples rebuked parents who were trying to have their children see Jesus and Jesus said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16). It is vital that parents be allowed to teach their children about Jesus without a fear of persecution in their own home or without a fear that their children will turn them in to the authorities.