Religious control of the people by the Chinese government is certainly not a new problem to the minority faiths in that country. Now, in a seemingly hopeless case of David versus Goliath, a group of the Hui people of China are currently in a standoff with their government. The Hui people are an ethno-religious group based in Eastern Asia, and they adhere to the Muslim faith. In an uncommon display of public resistance, thousands of Chinese Muslims have gathered in the mosque to protest the destruction of their temple. The Chinese government has previously tolerated different religions, but the Communist Party running the Chinese government is openly atheist in its beliefs, hence the clash and the resulting protest.
Residents of Wei Zhou, the province where the mosque resides, were shocked by the news of the planned demolition given the fact that the government had consented to its construction just last year. Communist officials are stating the reason for their demolition is because eight of the nine domes on top of the mosque were built larger than permitted. All of this was said despite the fact that the town’s Communist Party Secretary had even made a congratulatory speech at the site of the mosque after it had finished construction.
This is not the first time the Chinese Community Party has cracked down on Islam. For example, in the far western province of XinJiang, hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been detained in indoctrination camps. Stunningly however, when the Party ordered the destruction of the mosque in Wei Zhou, over one-hundred police officers surrounded the mosque, but did nothing to stop the Hui’s protest of the government orders, according to the Washington Post.
Open intolerance of religion by the party heads is not just affecting Muslim men and women. Currently the authorities have shut down Hui religious schools, forced Tibetan children from Buddhist temples to schools, shut down Christian churches, and seized Bibles. While China has emerged as a superpower in terms of trade and its stability in the region against North Korea and Russia is critical to U.S. goals, the shocking treatment of its religious minorities remains a significant concern. Perhaps the Hui protest and the local police refusal to arrest the demonstrators will have a reverberating effect on religion in China.
“Religion Must Obey Chinese Law.” The Washington Post, WP Company, Aug. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/world.