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China's ministers continue to preach devotion to God despite political pressures

Recommended by Alicia Purdy

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, July 16 2012 1:00 p.m. MDT

Our take: The message of the gospel is caught in a precarious balancing act in communist China. However, in spite of governmental pressures, some pastors continue to teach absolute devotion to God, which is in contradiction to the perspective on absolute devotion to the state as mandated by the religious overseers in the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Specifically, Catholicism is under attack in China where the ruling party's beliefs cause conflict with the tenants of the Roman Catholic Church. In response, some pastors are resigning from the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

The Rev. Peter Liu Yongbin, a wireless microphone tethered to his head, gazed out over his prospective converts and plowed into the ABCs of Roman Catholic faith. He offered a roughly abridged version of Abrahams family tree, the benefits of frequent confession and a quick guide to church hierarchy. Think of the pope as equivalent to the minister of a government bureaucracy, he explained.

Then came the pop quiz. What if China were to experience another Cultural Revolution, the traumatic decade of Maoist zealotry during which religious adherents were persecuted?

If a Red Guard puts a knife to your throat and tells you to renounce your faith, what should you do? he asked the five dozen initiates, all of them weeks away from baptism. After an awkward silence, Father Liu blurted out the answer: Never give it up, he said, his eyes widening for effect. Your devotion should be to God above all else.

Read more about China's ministers preaching Christian messages on The New York Times.

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