China Attacks Sainthood Declaration for Martyrs Religion Seen as Threat to Authority

The Florida Times Union, October 1, 2000 | Go to article overview

China Attacks Sainthood Declaration for Martyrs Religion Seen as Threat to Authority


BEIJING -- In a poor village in northern China known as Wang La, four girls raised in a Catholic orphanage were seized by a secret society of peasants sweeping across China a century ago in an anti-foreign, anti-Christian revolt against Western colonial domination.

The Boxers, as the rebels were known because of the mystical exercises they practiced to prepare for battle, put the girls in a cart and ordered them to give up their faith. According to the Vatican's account of the event, each of the girls replied: "We are daughters of God. We will not betray Him."

So the girls -- Wang Cheng, Fan Kun, Ji Yu and Zheng Xu -- were killed. Today, Pope John Paul II will declare them martyrs for the faith and canonize them. The orphans, along with 83 other Chinese Roman Catholics killed between 1648 and 1930, will be the first Chinese raised to sainthood. Thirty-three foreign missionaries who died in China during those years also will be canonized.

Many Chinese Catholics have long awaited this moment. But the government has unleashed a vitriolic attack on the new saints. In statements published by the state-run press, government officials have stopped just short of saying they deserved to die, arguing that most were "henchmen of imperialist aggression" who committed "evil acts" and "monstrous crimes against the Chinese people."

CLASH OF IDEOLOGIES

In many ways, the verbal assault reflects the anxiety of the ruling Communist Party, as it struggles to cope with a nationwide boom in religion that is threatening its authority.

In part, according to Catholic leaders in Hong Kong and Taiwan, the government is worried that clergy loyal to the pope may have infiltrated the "patriotic" Catholic church it established after breaking ties with the Vatican in 1951 -- the only one allowed to practice the faith openly. At the same time, the government is worried about the growing numbers of Catholics here who refuse to join the patriotic church, and instead risk arrest by worshiping in illegal "house-churches" loyal to the Vatican.

All this comes as China continues to crack down on a range of unapproved cults, sects and underground religions, including the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and evangelical Protestant groups, that are prospering as Communist ideology loses its appeal under rapid social change.

For the most part, Chinese officials have avoided specific charges against the saints.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

China Attacks Sainthood Declaration for Martyrs Religion Seen as Threat to Authority
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.