"There will definitely be more Christian Believers in the next generation. The ability for the Christian faith to be inherited and passed on is ever growing." -A Chinese Christian parent
(China)— [Gospelherald.com] Christians in China's city of Wenzhou are ignoring the official ban on Sunday School classes—and have vowed to continue teaching children about Jesus until Believers surpass the number of atheists in the country. (Photo credit: AP/via Gospel Herald)
According to a new report from Reuters, Churches in Wenzhou—known as "China's Jerusalem" due to its sizable Christian community—started teaching children in private homes or at other venues after authorities outlawed Sunday School earlier this year.
In her house, "faith comes first, grades come second," one parent surnamed Chen told the outlet, explaining that children must attend Bible classes because state education fails to provide sufficient moral and spiritual guidance.
"Drugs, porn, gambling and violence are serious problems among today's youth and video games are extremely seductive," she told Reuters. "We cannot be by his side all the time so only through faith can we make him understand (the right thing to do)."
She added, "There will definitely be more Christian Believers in the next generation. The ability for the Christian faith to be inherited and passed on is ever growing."
In addition to banning Sunday Schools in some districts of Wenzhou, children in other regions were barred from taking part in faith activities, including summer camps. At the time, authorities cited "high temperatures" as a possible health hazard.
Reuters notes that while Chinese law officially grants religious freedom for all, including children, regulations on education and protection of minors also say religion cannot be used to "coerce" children to believe. In September, officials released new rules expanding state oversight of religious education nationwide.
Chinese officials previously warned Christian parents that if they continue to take their children to churches not approved by the government, their offspring will be banned from attending college or serving in the military, and will face legal action.
The government sanctioned Protestant church, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, specifically forbids its members from "brainwashing" teenagers with religious beliefs and bringing children to religious activities.
Click here to continue reading.