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July 13th, 2011
09:14 PM ET

Amid growing pressure, churches in China 'are at a critical moment,' pastor says

By Eunice Yoon, CNN

Beijing, China (CNN) - The congregants were seated in rows of folding chairs, clasping their hands in prayer or studying passages in their Bibles.

The choir was sitting up front ready to sing on cue. A cross hung behind the pastor. The service looked like a Christian service you would see pretty much anywhere else in the world. But this is Beijing, and the recent Sunday service was illegal.

I couldn't stop glancing at the door and wonder - are the authorities on their way?

This must be the feeling the people in informal churches here have lived with for decades, I thought.

In China, the government allows religious activity but tightly controls it, requiring Christians to meet at state-approved churches. Many Chinese Christians prefer to worship on their own terms at "house" churches, which generally start as small prayer meetings in people's homes.

In recent years, the authorities have tolerated these underground churches. In fact, the parishioners CNN spoke to seemed unfazed by their church's illegal status.

However, Pastor Ezra Jin, the leader of Zion Church, said these churches are now under tremendous pressure - in the midst of China's crackdown on dissent here in the wake of the Arab Spring.

"We are at a critical moment," he said. "What we need is communication."

House churches, he said, cannot afford to stay silent - one of the reasons he granted CNN rare access to film in his banned church.

Jin is concerned that China's underground churches could become targets of jittery authorities like one of Beijing's biggest house churches, Shouwang. Over the past several months, Shouwang's members have been routinely detained and its leaders put under house arrest.

The government defended its actions, saying the congregants were repeatedly gathering illegally in the streets.

Jin finds the development troubling. He and over a dozen other house church leaders have filed a petition to top Communist Party officials calling for greater religious freedoms.

He fears that without dialogue, underground churchgoers could face a fate similar to practitioners of another - heavily persecuted - spiritual group.

"Shouwang's case could deteriorate into a massive crackdown if not handled properly," he said. "We are trying to send a message to remind the Communist Party leaders not to inflame this incident, not to tackle it the way they did the Falun Gong."

The government officially allows freedom of religion but has long been wary of churches, suspicious they could be a source of opposition.

Pastor Jin doesn't see himself as a threat. He hopes his decision to speak up will foster understanding - and possibly lead to legal recognition of house churches without the government controls.

"We are very aware of what we are doing," he said. "And we are ready to pay the price."

He is a man of God now emboldened despite, or perhaps because of, the Chinese government's heavy hand.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Belief • China • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Content Partner • TV-The Situation Room

soundoff (531 Responses)
  1. thomas

    China's crackdown is understand and should be appreciated in maintaining social order.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • BCA

      No

      July 14, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  2. LALA

    Christian missionaries, and Pat Robertson are foaming at the mouth, to see who they can convert, and fool, to see if they can destroy the local culture and force their on them.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • The Guy

      You've struck the nail on the head, sir/madam.

      July 14, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  3. Chris

    If its Atheist posting their praises of China then I welcome you to go move there or to North Korea where its even worse. The Chinese killed millions of people not just Christians. They killed members of other religions and their own people who questioned their government. I fear for our country more if the communists on this forum gain power.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • The Guy

      Understood, but to your point it's not even a close comparison to note the direct murder and indirect death that has been attributed to the Christian's intolerance of non-believers.

      July 14, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  4. Ankenyman

    Sorry to see this, but good article. There is excellent,orthodox Catholic commentary on this topic and Catholic social teaching by Deacon Dan Gannon on http://www.catholicurrent.com/​#/.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  5. LALA

    First of all, I don't support communists, or the control of religion by a gov. I believe that Christians should be allowed to pray, but make sure foreign missionaries don't come and try to convert the poor and hungry, to promote their beliefs. It can run rampant and only more violence will come, Christians if given the chance to exploit people, will DO IT. They will convert people by paying, or tricking them. They will insist that they convert first, before they get medical treatment of get fed. This is how they try to spread, they can't keep it to themselves, and if you lay a hand on a Christian they will scream bloody murder and that they are persecuted. They will use the laws, to spread and destroy the Chinese culture. It not only Christians but any religion that believes in preaching. Religion is for the week minded who cant reason the world, and are desperate. Just be careful, this has happened all over the world, from Africa, to S. America to Asia. (From personal experiences and witness)

    July 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • ari

      you're being overdramatic. i'm a jew and i've lived in two christian-majority countries (france and america). no one has ever offered me money to convert, or hurt me, or refused me treatment because of my religion. you're generalizing over 2 billion people on your own narrow experiences. i live in new york right now–again, christian majority. gays can get married here now. abortion is legal. prayer is not allowed in public schools. we have more freedom OF and FROM religion in this country than you care to recognize.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Boubacar

      Lala, seriously? It breaks my heart to hear you claim Christian missionaries require people to convert before giving them medical care. I have been a missionary and my wife was a medical missionary. We were threatened and beaten for helping people. But we continued to provide care for people because of our love for the people. Neither we nor any other modern Christian missionary that I know has ever required anyone to confess anything to receive treatment. We do it out of love. If people choose to listen to our faith story, we are thankful. But if they don't we keep doing what we are doing out of love. If I am weak minded for suffering in order to serve other people, then so be it. I don't have it all figured out and never will. But if you think you can rationalize everything that happens in this world then you have a gift that no one else has.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Christisthereason

      Religion is for the weak minded who cant reason with the World?
      Do you think so? Are you strong enough to remove pride from your heart or are you powerless against it? Did you decide on coming into this world, or did you decide your birthday, do you play any role in controlling your heart beat or can you by your own ability regulate your heart beat or did you design the flow of blood into your brain. You are deceived into believing that you are in control. If humans were really in control then the word accident would not be in our dictionary but it is our pride that blinds us into believing that we our in control. You only have the power to make choices, like which shirt you want to wear which profession you want to take, what food you eat, you can make choices but your pride makes you think you are in control. your reasoning power has led you to a wrong conclusion. You should reason what is the source of good and bad.
      As science says energy can not be created or destroyed. you should find out from where this everlasting source of energy stems from. this answers you will find in the bible . God is from the everlasting to the everlasting. All energy in this universe is installed by him only. You need to reason more really and it will lead you to the bible

      July 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Dan

      It never ceases to amaze me that when religious folk object to gratuitous s e x and violence on the TV, they are lectured about other peoples' rights and told to turn it off. Christianity is spread by preaching. If you don't want to hear it, walk away. It really is that easy.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Common Sense

      What is the reason you propose Christians want to convert people? So that they can make them stupid and keep them ignorant? Are Christians just inherently evil? Or is it that they truly think what they believe can help someone in need?

      July 15, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  6. someon

    I certainly wish China would have a revolution like many countries have been during the Arab Spring. It's about time. It might also help the us in some ways.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • ari

      maybe one day. i suspect it'll be more of a peaceful "revolution", though. the chinese are becoming more globalized, more middle-class and better educated. at some point they will demand more freedom.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  7. Jacob

    This isn't so much about religious freedom as it is about registration and taxation issues. Just try to operate a large church in the US without complying with IRS regulations. Small prayer groups are one thing, but if you are operating a sizeable church, receiving large donations, and earning a living working as a pastor, you have to follow the rules.

    If churches are going to claim tax exempt status in the US, they have to jump through many hoops to make that happen. If a church doesn't jump through those hoops, they aren't legally a church, and their members can't claim donations for income tax purposes. If the IRS didn't have these rules, everyone would just start a church, and nobody would pay any taxes.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Boubacar

      If you think the reason these churches are not registering is for tax reasons, you have no idea what the real situation is in China

      July 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • chinesefollowerofYeshua

      The reason Christians in China favor local Chinese church is that the state-controlled churches frequently become the government's propaganda. Real Christian values are not taught there.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Chris

      Sir have you actually been inside of China and seen what happens? The tax issue is a state lie designed to make it seem like freedom of religion is existent but its not no matter what religion you are.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Jacob

      I have no idea how tax laws for churches work in China, but I do know that most of the underground churches in China are very political. In the US, churches are prohibited from engaging in political activity, yet many Americans seem to think "churches" in China should not face these same restrictions. The Chinese government pretty much ignores all but the largest and most politically active underground churches. If people just want to practice their religion, that's not a problem. But if they take money from foreign governments and engage in political activity, that's another matter entirely.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Dan

      Jacob: "In the US, churches are prohibited from engaging in political activity..."

      Really? Which United States do you live in? I seem to remember churches being active in everything from abolition to desegregation to the abortion debate. The government may not recognize religion in this country, but individuals may participate at any level - and yes, churches get involved.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  8. Kevin

    I've lived in China for 5 years. Those Christian people in China is way different from what we define Christian in US. Sometimes those Chinese christian do bad thing under the protection of "Religious", and act just like gangs. This is already a big issue in some part of China, like Mafia.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • ari

      kevin, you do realize that that is propaganda from the chinese government, yes?

      July 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Jacob

      For most people in China, Christianity doesn't make any sense. They don't believe you can undo evil deeds, just because you are Christian. They believe in karma. Bad karma is never erased, but can be overshadowed with even more good karma. In that way, Chinese people are closer to the belief in Judaism that deeds are more important than words. For Chinese people, if someone spends their life doing bad things, they can't accept Jesus on their death bed and wipe their slate clean. Christianity is seen by many in China as an attempt to bypass the law of karma.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • TCVAN

      Nonsense.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Uhhh

      @ari: I find it interesting that you don't have such a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to what the Chinese government has to say about the Uyghurs. Very interesting, indeed.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Jack

      I agree with you. the purpose of most home churches is to make money, or even worse.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Dan

      "Kevin" ...by th e way you use English, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you've been in China a whole lot longer than 5 years - like your whole life, eh? You clearly have drunk the state kool-aid.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Matthew

      Kevin, Getting saved does not undo Karma. Our sins have consequences. God forgives us but he doesn't stop us from making dumb decisions and the pain it causes. Salvation relates more to our relationship with God and our afterlife. Also a Saved Christian is not going to want to do evil, it is not in his/her heart.

      July 14, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  9. DiamondSky

    Fattened Americans never undestand what it means to be ruled by atheists. China should take control of USA.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Ancient Curse

      Nah, the Chinese have a god-figure in Chairman Mao. They sing songs to him, they read his book, and they live by his teachings. Call it a "religion of state." I doubt many atheists would want that, either. I doubt any of us would.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • TCVAN

      Don't push it dude.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  10. Odessa

    Strong presence of Chinese Christians is the only reason China became powerful in any good sense.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • LALA

      That's pretty stupid... some of the most poorest nations in Africa and South America, are almost 100% Christians, suffer. Face it, because some Chinese are Christians doesn't mean anything. Take your bible and stuff it up your a s s.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • Odessa

      Lala, Christianity is majority everywhere except for the Middle East/North Africa and Tibet. Education is one's own choice. The West is going down because it's de-christianized.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • soysauce

      what on earth are you talking about...christians being present in a country has NOTHING to do with it being powerful..china is a country of 2 billion and yet you think a handful of christians, who are hammered down by the government, have anything to do with it being the new world superpower? Please. Yet another dellusional religious idiot who thinks backwards.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Jacob

      There are a lot more Buddhists in China than Christians, and some sources claim there are even more Muslims than Christians. So your argument is ridiculous.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Uhhh

      @Odessa: oh come on, try harder at being accurate, please. You say Christianity is majority everywhere "except for the Middle East/North Africa and Tibet"?? Are you kidding me?? What about about South Asia (hint: Indian Subcontinent). What about Southeast Asia? Central Asia?? How about this for a more accurate statement: Christianity is a minority religion in THE ENTIRE Asian continent except for the Philippines (and that's excluding southern Philippines) and the barely-populated Asian part of Russia?

      July 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      I seesaw between thinking Odessa is truly as misinformed about the world as her comments suggest, or if she's simply content to tell bald-faced lies in furtherance of promoting Christianity.

      July 14, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Civiloutside

      I seesaw between thinking that Odessa is truly as misinformed about the world as her comments suggest, or that she's simply content to tell bald-faced lies in furtherance of promoting Christianity.

      July 14, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • The Guy

      yikes, Odessa, yikes.

      July 14, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  11. Joe

    I really hope China can steer clear of the insanity that is Christianity. It's a shame that it's taken over American politics, and even worse that it destroys the minds of so many young people. If you area critical thinker, it's impossible to be a Christian.

    Go Chinese communists!

    July 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • sharky

      Yes because Communism is truly such a peace loving and non violent at all way of life. Someone should have told General Mao that.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • Robert

      Name me ONE teaching of Christ that fosters unhappiness.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • Odessa

      Chinese atheists massacred 20 million humans.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • ad

      @robert.

      how about, if I don't believe in Christ I will go to hell?? i mean how stupid is that???

      by that logic: Gandhi went to hell and Bush goes to heaven...lol....

      July 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • TCVAN

      Congratulations Joe, that's exactly how Satan wants you to think. Hope you like things hot.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Jesus is God

      So I guess you think Galileo, Copernicus, Bacon, Kepler, Wallis, Pasteur, Kelvin, Fleming, Francis Collins, John Lennox, (I could go on and on) are not critical thinkers?? Do you know how ridiculous that sounds?

      July 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Dan

      Ad...What proof do you offer that Ghandi was so good? Do you know the innermost thoughts of his heart? You cannot judge either him or GWB. You aren't qualified.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Common Sense

      Apparently Obama is not a critical thinker. Imagine that.

      July 15, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  12. the dude

    Islam is not the only "bad" religion. All religions line us up against one another and put us at odds. The world would be a much more peaceful place if we did away with all religions. If one takes a critical look at the history of Christianity, there are as many, if not more atrocities carried out in the name of faith as any other religion. I doubt if the Soviets Union fell apart because of the lack of freedom of religion. I lived in Estonia for a couple years right after the fall of the Union and freedom of religion was on the top of their list of gripes.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Robert

      Name me just ONE teaching of Christ that fosters unhappiness.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • soysauce

      believe in whatever you want...religion should ALWAYS be kept separate from government and kept in the private sphere. Period.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Our Motto is: Theocracy Now!

      Here you go Robert.

      Matthew 19:29-30 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life."

      Luke 12:51-53 “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

      Matthew 15:4 "For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die.'"

      Is that unhappy enough for you, or do you want more?

      July 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Jordan

      The point of Christianity is not to exactly reach happiness on the Earth. Our joy is in Christ, who is seated at the right hand of God in heaven. True, some parts of the Bible aren't great. They're scary. However, our lives don't end on Earth. That's the good part. We still have something to look forward to after we leave this place. A place greater than our minds can imagine or even handle. "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal." – Matthew 6:20. God calls us to follow His commands, and honestly, if you're truly after God's heart, you don't want to break His commands. You won't want to dishonor your father or your mother. God doesn't NEED us. He WANTS us.

      July 14, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Common Sense

      You know what? The world would also be a lot more peaceful if we all switched to one religion.

      But you wouldn't like that, would you?
      Neither would religious people like to do away with religion.

      July 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  13. Name*Next thought

    The comments on this board are pretty alarming.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  14. skeptic

    Christians unite for the overthrow of the communist Chinese government.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Our Motto is: Theocracy Now!

      They are really busy trying to overthrow the American government at the moment. Can they call you back later?

      July 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Common Sense

      Just like the Jews tired to overthrow the German government...

      July 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  15. skeptic

    Christians will overthrow the communist Chinese government. It's just a matter of time.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Jacob

      The other 97% of the Chinese popluation might have somehting to say about that. And if Christian missionaries are going to China with ambitions of overthrowing the Chinese government, they are very poor Christians. They sould concentrate on saving souls, and stop trying to create chaos and civil war.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • LL

      trust me...it is not that easy to do that...

      July 14, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  16. Linda C - AZ

    Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they say or do.

    July 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  17. Lee

    Perhaps one of the few benefits of China's restrained society is that they might stamp out the scourge of religion there. It is nothing short of a psychological virus that is passed from generation to generation that not only holds us back, but constantly threatens to take us even further back. Way to go China!

    July 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • ari

      oh yes, lee, that worked so well for the soviets. it really resulted in a tolerant, happy, liberal society. and look at china, whose dominant class is predominantly atheist! no fighting or discrimination there!

      July 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Snarks

      I was about to say that. Islam stands no chance in China, and that is the only religion anybody has to worry about.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
    • Brandon

      The problem isn't religion, its intolerance. If people could just respect each others' beliefs, we'd have no problem. It is not the religion that causes the conflict but it is ignorant, close-minded idiots that fuel the ever-burning fire of hatred, discrimination, and ignorance. I'm ashamed to have a fool like you wasting my air.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • free

      Yes, religion is as you say. But is seems that many of these Chinese groups are pursuing a spiritual relationship with Jesus, which is the polar opposite of religion.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Sean Russell

      Most of these so-called athiest regimes are nothing of the sort. They merely replace the worship of a deity with worship of the state or a cult of personality. Stalin, Hitler, Kim Jung-Il- all demand the the worship of their subjects. They deified their leaders- just as Rome did. So, not really atheist at all.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • dudarino

      Islam is not the only "bad" religion. All religions line us up against one another and put us at odds. The world would be a much more peaceful place if we did away with all religions. If one takes a critical look at the history of Christianity, there are as many, if not more atrocities carried out in the name of faith as any other religion. I doubt if the Soviets Union fell apart because of the lack of freedom of religion. I lived in Estonia for a couple years right after the fall of the Union and freedom of religion was on the top of their list of gripes.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • YBP

      I find it amusingly absurd that Christians, the Chinese and the Africans in particular, do not comprehend that first century Jews, like some Jews today, would never eat with, speak with, touch, or come into contact in any way with non-Jews. Jesus wouldn't have touched any of these people with a ten-foot pole.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Uhhh

      @Snarks: sorry to burst your bubble, but Islam is already well-established in China as it already has a millenia of presence in the western part (including Xinjiang) and is practiced by the Uyghurs and many other minority groups in China (it's also "officially" recognized by the central government). Of course, as we all know the Uyghurs are being persecuted and squashed by the central government. But of course, we all know your types probably condone the Chinese government for that type of behavior as long as the victims are those crazy Muslims. But "god" forbid it's done to the Tibetan Buddhists! Oh heavens, no...we shall condemn that to no end. (sarcasm here, obviously)

      July 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • ari

      that's a bit of a stretch sean. rome literally deified their leaders (well, prior to christianity anyway). stalin/hitler/pol pot et al weren't deified. maybe they had cults of personality, but it wasn't in the religious sense. people just truly believed that they had the answers, and that they should be able to impose them. i don't recall any groups who believed that stalin was god/a god...

      July 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • flfx

      Yes...congrats, you're just at bigoted and fascist as they are in China. Guess if you feel that way you'd accept Christians forcing you to believe in God rather than being allowed freewill you experience now. You want to talk about a virus, it's people like you force their hatred on others when they believe something different that you.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • ari

      and @Uhhh while the chinese government has indeed been cruel to the religious minorities in their land, including the turk uyghurs, it must be said that the uyghurs have a rather nasty nationalism movement that has resulted in violence against chinese (han chinese) people in the past.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • Robert

      Once again, please name me ONE teaching of Christ that fosters unhappiness.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Uhhh

      @ari: Is that so? So what do you say in regards to Tibetan nationalism? Do you honestly believe no Han Chinese has ever been hurt in the process? Did you also believe the Chinese government when they told the world that many Han Chinese were injured or killed by rioting Tibetans in that last spasm of violence in Tibet a few years ago? Do you give the same level of understanding for China's attempts at pacifying Tibet as you do their "efforts" in Xinjiang?

      July 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • ari

      @Uhhh han chinese were not "hurt in the process", they were the victims of uyghur rioting. multiple times, actually.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
    • Uhhh

      @ari: but you did not answer my questions. Why are you only concentrating on the Uyghurs? What about the last Tibetan riots? No Han Chinese victims there? What was so different about the Tibetan riots vs. the Xinjiang ones?

      July 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • TCVAN

      Psychological Lee ??? So you live totally by your 5 physical senses only? If you can't see, hear, feel, smell, or taste something, then it must not exist? I suggest you do some serious common sense and soul searching and get out of that little box that you're living in.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Dan

      YBP..."Jesus wouldn't have touched any of these people with a ten-foot pole."

      LOL... Jesus healed the daughter of the Syro-Phoenecian woman, lauded the "love-in-action" of a Samaritan and praised the faith of a Roman as better than any Jew he had met (Luke 7). You do not know what you are talking about.

      July 14, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • The Guy

      @Dan irregardless of the fact that the bible is a bunch of garbage and you just quoted it to someone who also knows so, "Luke" has been agreed upon by almost every respected theological leader as a completely unreliable source by evidence in recorded Roman history.

      July 14, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  18. ari

    sad to see any country have so little freedom of religion. i hope the chinese government allows more personal freedoms soon... it's time that they get with the program.

    (i was gonna say "in before sweeping generalizations and intolerance! but alas, too late.)

    July 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Whizerd

      Nice to see a brainwashed sheep, trying to tell someone that forsaw the problem of "freedom of religion", to 'get with the program'! Thats really funny.
      Christians are the ones that need to get with the program, more than any other cult does. You are part of the longest joke in the history of mankind. In fact, in the end of things, you will become the punchline.
      Although, almost every religion needs to be abolished or get with the program too..but most are too blind to see things. Religion does that to the weak hearted.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • ari

      @Whiz i'm jewish, actually! many people have tried to "abolish" my religion but they have all failed miserably. trolololo

      July 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
    • YBP

      Actually six million dead isn't what I'd call a "miserable" failure. Hideous, yes. But amiserable failure? When every other nation looked the other way? It is a tragedy though that no Gentile culture in history have ever accepted your people, but why is that? I'd say it has to do with that unique blend of arrogance and ignorance that is so prevalent in the personality of the "chosen." It's abhorrent really. Oh, and this isn't prejudice. Not at all. I was customer service manager in a bank in one of the Five Towns in Long Island. I speak from experience. If you'd like to know what is "miserable," try that job. Absolutely "miserable."

      July 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Kerry

      But actully according to Chinese history, there never exists a religion that is not from a foreign country. And that is why most Chinese don't ave a religious belief.(not because of the communist government). Although I don't agree with some of the authority's restricts on religion.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Dan

      Kerry...China has incorporated a variety of religious beliefs into their culture, it is true. But the native Chinese belief system was ancestor worship, called jìngzǔ or bàizǔ. It is not all from foreigners. In fact, China, contrary to poular opinion, is not a single culture, but a union of many cultures that were united by conquest since ancient times.

      July 14, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  19. frank

    The thought of an additional 1.2 billion squawking Baby Jesus enthusiasts chills my marrow.

    July 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      icy stuff.

      July 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • Trib

      Amen. I had to move out of the South US to escape that judgmental BS.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  20. DiamondSky

    Christianity is the only faith that deeply and truly undestands human suffering, makes the believer super-naturally strong in the Savior who suffered, and fortifies him with God's love and His compassion and true Hope. Christianity is forever.

    July 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      God talks to me, so I am super supernaturally strong. Much stronger than you woosie athiest anti-Christs. He talks to me through my dead parrot Zippy who Jesus brought back to life right in front of my eyes! Zippy is a Norwegian Blue, and I know you think he is still dead, but he's just pining for the fjords. And no, I didn't nail his feet to the perch – he did that as self-stigmata to honor Jesus. Okay, I helped a bit, but he would have if he wasn't pining for the fjords.

      July 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Up Your Rear Admiral

      Bump up DS2 for parrot skit reference nailed.

      Pining for the fjords ...

      July 13, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Lee

      I am afraid you are all insane

      July 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
    • Jet Li

      "Only Faith".. yeah right.. Only faith that the priests molest other kids freely..

      July 13, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
    • Whizerd

      Some of the best trolling Ive ever seen. Because I know you can't be serious. Good job!

      July 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      The second DiamondSky is a fake. Filthy atheists can never mimic believers.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      The third DiamondSky is a fake. Filthy atheists who always mimic believers can never mimic believers.

      July 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Uhhh

      Fake or not, the second and fourth DiamondSkies gave me a good, hearty laugh. Thanks for the entertainment, brilliant stranger! 🙂

      July 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      I suffer from severe depression so I have to believe there is something greater than myself or I would be declared clinically insane. Praise God, it's because of him I am sane and don't have to deal with reality.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • DiamondSky

      The second, fourth and seventh, no wait, fifteenth, oh damn all this math stuff! Some of me are fakes.

      July 13, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Jordan

      I agree with the FIRST DiamondSky. Amen.

      July 14, 2011 at 12:07 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.