Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Frontline .. Jesus in China

Watched a segment about the rise of Christianity in China. I have a friend who I worked with in Chicago whose family went through the Cultural Revolution when Chairman Mao came to power. Her father was an engineer and taken from the family to a work camp. They came to America in the 1980's. When I went to the Soviet Union (was still the Soviet Union), I went to many many Churches, Russian Orthodox Churches, with people literally crawling all over each other to pray. It was counter to what I was taught in school ... Communism=no religion. What I did find interesting was in Red Square and the Kremlin, the red star was specifically placed higher than the crosses of the churches in the Kremlin ... yes, there are churches in the Kremlin... within a stones throw of the government buildings.

Ok .. so China is such an interesting place, in many ways. When Mao took over, he banned all Churches, so they went underground. Christianity has been in China for a long long time. It came with missionaries of various faiths who travelled the hinterlands converting people. Now, China doesn't ban religion ..THEY CO-OPTED IT! There are government run Christian churches with government trained ministers. It was eye opening! If you can't beat, control 'em I guess. But, there are still many many underground Christian churches and there are more people at these "house churches" than go to the government churches. Can't blame them, really ... They literally will meet in holes in the wall and worship. The police crack down every now and then and detain ministers, mainly for harrassment purposes. The whole world is watching China, they can't start slaughtering Christians without repercussions from the rest of the world. Anyway, it was very interesting to see. I'm not overtly Christian, but am always interested in seeing how people find ways in their hearts to believe in something.

Ok, for kicks ... see my playlist over there??? Go click on the Internationale by Billy Bragg now ... it's appropriate.

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