Rome’s Shame in China
China is a large, strange, complex, contradictory thing, even before you get to the large, strange, complex, contradictory, and murderous form of Communism that has come to dominate its various peoples. No one understands it very well. But those closest with a real say – the Hong Kong protesters who know what submission to Beijing means, and Taiwanese voters who roundly resisted mainland pressure in elections this weekend – are united in believing that China is simply not to be trusted.
It’s worth trying to think through why the Vatican seems to have a different view.
Living in Washington, I’ve met any number of sincere and dedicated public figures, as well as many scamps, scalawags, con men, and outright liars. But the few encounters I’ve had with Chinese officials set the gold standard for shameless lying – particularly about religious persecution.
Even secular journalists with little love for religion routinely report these days on China’s increasing outrages against believers. Their reports tend to focus on religious groups Western secularists favor – the 1 million Uighur Muslims in China, for example, who are now being brainwashed in “re-education” camps.
Journalists are much less interested in China’s 100 million Christians (Protestants and Catholics). Or how religious bodies are being brutally “sinicized,” even forced – incredibly – to re-write their scriptures to bring them in line with Communist ideology.