On December 4, ChinaAid received a report that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities have mandated that all teachers sign a “Public Pledge Form”—which forbids them to profess any religious belief. In addition, teachers must affirm they will not engage in any practice or propagation of religion.
CCP officials have reportedly issued and distributed a “Teacher’s Promise to Not Believe in Any Faith” form to Longwan District School (primary school) in Wenzhou—requiring each teacher’s signature. The affidavit requires the teacher’s name, gender, age, working hours, position, and school. Directives under four “publicly announced commitments” stipulate that all teachers sign and date the form.
International Christian Concern reports a teacher shared with ChinaAid that the requirements for teachers in the “publicly announced commitments” include:
- firmly establish a Marxist religious view,
- strengthen atheism education,
- do not believe in any religion, do not participate in any religious activities, do not preach and disseminate religion in any place, and
- actively promote socialism and new civilization, do not promote feudal superstition, and do not engage in feudal superstition activities.
The CCP also requires teachers who are members of the party to receive the “Communist Party Member’s Promise to Not Believe in Any Faith.” Although the current CCP mandates for teachers do not initiate any new measures, authorities have increased persecution of Christians in Zhejiang since Xi Jinping came into power March 14, 2013.
In addition to the Chinese government forbidding teachers to profess any religious beliefs, CCP authorities have removed large numbers of crosses from churches, demolished or repurposed places of worship, banned minors from attending religious gatherings, and prohibited Christian teachers from teaching at schools. These deliberate measures to clamp down on Christianity and take away religious freedoms do not add up to China’s claim that its citizens have freedom of religious belief.