Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
the most highly charged disputes have occurred over government seiz-
ure of farmland for construction of the factories, power plants, shopping
malls, roads, and apartment complexes that are fueling China's boom.
(Jones 2006)
The New York Times website occasionally posted video footage of
protests and disturbances, but in 2006 China issued new restrictions
on foreign media that required all news reports to be cleared and vet-
ted with Xinhua News Agency, China's state-controlled propaganda
arm. Websites for the NewYorkTimesand many other foreign news
media outlets are frequently blocked by “The Great Firewall of China,”
or the Chinese Communists' Internet filters.
C. Religious Movements
The Chinese Communists dislike organized religion primarily
because they look at it in political terms and see in it a possible source
of social turmoil and national upheaval. (One has only to recall the
Taiping Rebellion of the nineteenth century to see that concerns about
the political and even military implications of organized religion are,
or at least have been, somewhat warranted.) If they could, the Chinese
Communists would simply eliminate organized religion altogether,
but they know they cannot. Even Mao once speculated that in the
future, in a truly classless and communist society, religion might still
China claims that its citizens enjoy freedom of religion, and indeed
But China is careful to cut off Chinese religious groups from any for-
eign connections and watches over them closely. This is because the
Chinese Communists fear any organization of whatever type that can
rival the Communist Party in numbers and influence. Chinese Protes-
tants, for example, are required to belong to the “Three-Self Patriotic”
state church, the “three self” referring to the church being self-
administering, self-financing, and self-propagating, all without for-
eign interference or participation. The Chinese government microma-
nages the state church and carefully monitors the doctrines it teaches
and the numbers of Bibles it uses. (The state church is required, for
example, to teach that Mao Zedong has gone to heaven, and not to
hell.) Many Chinese Protestants resent the officiousness of the official
state church and attend unofficial “House Church” congregations in
private homes. Surveillance and persecution of the House Churches
varies with time and region. Mainland China is a much less religious
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