BEIJING, China (EP) – Chinese youth are attending church by the hundreds out of curiosity to see what the church has to offer that Marxism does not, according to a recent foreign report.
A Beijing University student said, “We feel Christianity is more closely tied to human nature than orthodox Marxism. Students are trying to find something that is more connected with their daily life.”
The party is reportedly more tolerant of religion than it was during the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution when churches were destroyed and believers were driven underground. Over the Christmas holidays, hundreds of young Chinese people crowded into churches all across the nation.
In Guangzhou, formerly Canton, in southern China, the crowd attempting to enter the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral for a midnight mass was so large that priests refused admission to some. “If you are not Catholic you should not come in,” said one church assistant who refused admission to a young man who could not provide his Christian name.
The Communist Party has banned proselytizing by Christians in China. It is widely known, however, that a number of foreign teachers come to China hoping to spread their faith. Christians still constitute a small minority of the population, but church officials and others say the number is growing.