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Atheism in China: Netizens Ridicule Propaganda Book

The Sanxing (Three Stars Gods) at a Chinese temple in Mongkok, Hong Kong - credit: Common Wikimedia CC0
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Peng Huiling | Bitter Winter

Social media comments are mostly negative about the well-publicized launch of a new book promoting atheism

Last month, the book “The Principles of Scientific Atheism” by Professor Li Shen was launched with great fanfare, as a text six years in the making that conclusively proves that God does not exist and religions do more harm than good.

Obviously, the book is also being promoted through the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) pages and channels on social media. But with surprising results. Comments by netizens are mostly negative. They appear and disappear, and the most negative comments are cancelled, but the trend is unmistakable.

Particularly targeted was a video where Li and Zhu Xiaoming, former secretary of the CCP Leadership Group of China Tibetology Research Center, who wrote the preface to the book, promoted the text on the popular video-sharing mobile application Kuaishou.

Even CCP-controlled media had to notice the presence of massive negative comment. One reporter checked 6,808 comments and found only one favorable to the author and the book.

Most of those who commented affirmed their belief that God exists, based on Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, and even non-religious philosophy. In fact, some argued that the existence of the world proves that there is a God who made it.

Others questioned the scholarly level of China Atheism Society, which sponsored the video, and even doubted that Li Shen has a very high IQ. “Atheism is ignorance,” one netizen wrote.

China Atheism Society answered that believers feel strongly about religion and leave comments on social media, while atheists don’t. But it also admitted that in China “the situation of atheism is indeed not optimistic. Atheism propaganda and education has a long way to go.”

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