In several parts of China, the celebration of Christmas has been limited, or even forbidden, for being a “Western celebration.”
The online publication Bitter Winter reported that in some places of worship, the celebrations have been limited “under the pretext of COVID-19 or by implementing directives on ‘Sinicization’ of Christianity.”
The report quoted “confidential documents” that are reportedly circulated among churches and schools. It said “a few ‘cosmetic’ celebrations of Christmas in government-controlled churches are photographed and broadcasted to falsely argue that there are no prohibitions against Christmas.”
Bitter Winter said it received a document from the Department of Education of Rong’an county, which is under the administration of Liuzhou city, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, to prove the prohibition of Christmas celebrations.
“Similar documents have been mentioned to us as being issued in different provinces and regions, but we do not have copies of them we can publish,” said the report.
The Rong’an document asks elementary schools and kindergartens to make sure that pupils and teachers do not celebrate Christmas.
“It is a document similar to many others throughout China, as confirmed by the fact that it mentions ‘directives from upper government’ and a ‘rule from the [Chinese Communist Party] Central Committee,” read the Bitter Winter report.
The report’s confidential source confirmed that students and teachers are not only prohibited from celebrating Christmas at school but also at home.
Those who learn about people who celebrate Christmas are asked to report it immediately to Public Security, and an officer has been designated to handle these reports, it added.