Skip to content

China’s Cultural Revolution

July 26, 2020

Image result for IMAGE communist chinese poster targeting religion during cultural revolution

Poster in support of China’s Cultural Revolution.  NOTE:  Crucifix in lower lefthand corner.

From 1966 to 1976, China engaged in a destructive socio-political movement known at the Cultural Revolution [1].  Launched by Mao Zedong (formerly known as Mao Tse Tung), the Cultural Revolution sought to purge China of the remnants of capitalistic ideas.

The Four Old Elements

The Great Leap Forward (an effort to modernize China’s economy) had failed, starving some 14-36 million, and widening the gap between rural peasants and urban professionals [2][3].  This was contrary to the Communist agenda of eliminating social classes.

In response, the so called “four old elements” were attacked:  old customs, old habits, old culture, and old thinking.

Millions Persecuted

Tens of millions were persecuted, publicly humiliated, tortured, and put to death.  Noted scholars and scientists were killed or committed suicide.  The resulting death toll is estimated between 400,000 and 3 million [4A].

Christianity Targeted

Christianity was specifically targeted during the Cultural Revolution [4B].

Pastor Wang Zhiming was among those who suffered for their faith [4C].  His home was pillaged.  The pastor and his family were beaten, vilified, and paraded from one village to another. 

Wang was finally executed before a packed stadium on December 29, 1973.  Just before he died, Wang was heard to say, “You should follow the words from above and repent.”  His family later received $250 as compensation.

A Surveillance State

China today uses sophisticated technology against its own citizenry [5A]. Monitoring of Chinese Muslims (ethnic Uyghurs) is widespread.

  • AI is sufficiently advanced to be alerted by certain words, so phone conversations must be in code.
  • Cameras use facial recognition software which targets the Uyghurs.
  • Predictive algorithms identify behavior the government considers threatening.

Over the past 3 years, an estimated 2 million Uyghurs have been held incommunicado in so called “vocational education and training centers” (another name for detention/indoctrination camps) [5B].  Those few released are markedly changed.

Relations Between the US and China

We have short memories.

These days, the United States and China have mutual economic, political, and security interests.  But China remains a Communist nation with a totalitarian government and unresolved issues involving human rights.

China is again closing churches and jailing pastors, as Christianity’s popularity increases [6].  The Chinese government views Christianity’s belief in eternal values as a threat.  Religious persecution has reached new highs [7].

Yes, we have short memories.  Unfortunately, that will not prevent history from repeating itself.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matt. 24: 9).

[1]  Wikipedia, “Cultural Revolution”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution.

[2]  AHC, Evolution of Evil, S1, E5, “Mao:  China’s Chairman of Death”, 8/13/15, https://www.ahctv.com/tv-shows/evolution-of-evil/full-episodes/mao-chinas-chairman-of-death.

[3]  The Guardian, “China’s Great Famine:  the true story” by Tania Branigan, 1/1/13, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/01/china-great-famine-book-tombstone .

[4A, 4B, and 4C]  Voice of the Martyrs Magazine, “Martyred During China’s Cultural Revolution”, March 2020, pp. 12-13.

[5A and 5B]  PBS, Frontline, Season 2020, Episode 18, “China Undercover”, 4/7/20, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/china-undercover/.

[6]  The Guardian (courtesy of The Observer), “In China, they’re closing churches, jailing pastors — and even rewriting scripture” by Lily Kuo, 1/13/19, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/13/china-christians-religious-persecution-translation-bible.

[7]  The Federalist, “China Ends 2019 with the Worst Religious Persecution in the Country’s History” by Helen Raleigh, 1/7/20, https://thefederalist.com/2020/01/07/xis-china-ends-2019-with-the-worst-religious-persecution-in-the-countrys-history/.

The US Supreme Court has denied Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley’s appeal of Nevada’s 50-person cap on worship services.  Under its coronavirus restrictions, the state is allowing casinos, restaurants, gyms, hair salons, and other businesses to operate at 50% capacity. 

See, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-supreme-court-denies-nevada-church-s-appeal-coronavirus-n1234913.

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

10 Comments
  1. I have two missionary friends in China at present, have visited there twice in times past. My friends concur that the situation is worsening weekly. Thanks, Anna, for drawing our attention to this threat so that we may spread awareness, intercede for our fellow saints more fervently and prepare ourselves for increasing state control in Africa and the West.

    • Thank you for sharing that information, Erroll. We should all remember to pray for the persecuted church.

  2. I hope the persecuted around the world feel our prayers..
    I do not understand why the U.S. will only involve themselves in protecting civilians, when they have something to gain in the oil fields.. Crimes against humanity are worth fighting for.

  3. Allan Halton permalink

    It looks like there is a “cultural revolution” taking place in the United States and other Western countries these days. I don’t wonder what effect it will have on the churches, considering the effect China’s cultural revolution had on the churches there.

  4. God bless our brothers and sisters in China. In spite of persecution (or maybe because of it), the Church is growing. We think they need our prayers – and they do – but they’re praying for the Church in America, too. There are disadvantages to being where it’s easy to call oneself a Christian.

  5. The persecution seems to be ramping up, we must keep these dear ones in our prayers. Thanks for posting this reminder.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Beijing’s Murderous Jesus « Mere Inkling Press

Leave a Reply to Anna Waldherr Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: