As was the case in the 1950s, when the communists came to power, Catholics in China are suffering “intense persecution”, according to Dr Steven Mosher, president of the United States-based Population Research Institute. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.
“If you’re Catholic in China, you’re a second-class citizen,” Dr Mosher said. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the underground Church or the Patriotic Church, you’re discriminated against simply because you’re a Catholic.”
Dr Mosher, who lives in California, was recently in Hobart to speak at the invitation of the Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies. He spent 10 years living and working as a social scientist in Asia, carrying out research in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.
In an interview with Hobart Archdiocese’s publication, the Catholic Standard, Dr Mosher said Catholic churches in China were being torn down and practice of the faith severely restricted.
“What has happened over the last four years is that some of the new churches that were built by people in the underground Church have been torn down. Other churches that were built by the underground Church have been turned over to the Patriotic Church.”
Some churches are left intact, he said, for “propaganda purposes” but are stripped of all external signs of faith such as crosses or statues.
No one under the age of 18 is permitted to enter a Catholic church and celebration of the Mass is only allowed once a week on Sunday. Any other Masses are considered illegal.
Owning a Bible is prohibited and online access to Scripture blocked, however, it is permissible to read the Chinese Communist Party’s version of the Bible, bereft of references to the afterlife.
“They don’t like revelations much. Communism is all about building paradise in the here and now. They’ve changed some of the Gospels significantly.”
‘Saints are being made every day in China’ (By Catherine Sheehan, Hobart Archdiocese)