Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Party Like It's 1921

Just about every company, bank, and organization in China is celebrating the communist party's 90th anniversary.

An interesting celebration was held by Beijing's officially-sanctioned christian churches. On June 11, a festive "praise music concert" was held at the Century Theater in Beijing where all the praises were for the communist party.

The meeting, described as full of cheering with a theme of "one heart, one direction," was attended by officials of Beijing's Religious Affairs Bureau, city communist party officials, pastors of Three-Self Patriotic Association churches, and 1700 believers.

The chairman of the Beijing Three-self Patriotic Association gathered the pastors on stage and gave a brief speech that made it clear who (or what) they should worship. The chairman began, "For 90 years, the communist party has united all peoples and circles of society, never ceasing to give attention and support to Chinese christianity."

He then reminded the pastors who butters their bread: "Especially in this new period, the party and government have helped each church to expand and refurbish buildings, nurturing new pastors, enthusiastically developing social service work, embarking on a suitable socialist path."

As long as you cooperate, we'll give you a hand: "While the life and work environment of church workers has been improved, their position in society and political treatment has been improved as well. This proves that the Chinese communisty party has in good faith supported the development of Chinese christianity, forming a lasting bond between the communist party and christians, a mutual dependence for solving problems, one heart and one direction with the party and government.

The christians' task is to improve China with help from--the party: "As long as we adhere to the leadership of the party, persist in serving the development of the party and the government, unswervingly following the 'three self' principles [self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating], we can certainly create a brilliant new tomorrow for China."

A 150-voice choir launched into the hit song "Entering a New Period" which was said to reflect the feelings of the majority of christians under the leadership of the communist party. Other songs of devotion included, "Offer a Bunch of Camelias to the Party," "Fatherland, What a Mother," "Song of the Guerillas," and "I Offer Oil to the Fatherland."

The show concluded with "Prayer for Tomorrow," a song that "used Christian words to express their hope for a world of peace and love."

No one needed to mention the consequences of not following the party's leadership.

Meanwhile, the Three-Self Association has been putting pressure on members of Beijing's Shouwang Church which refuses to join the Association. Members of Shouwang arrested this month for meeting illegally outdoors (after being booted from their rented space) said Three-self members showed up at police stations to "educate" them about their misguided ways.

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