Every so often it’s nice to give some credit to publications that do good work on the religion reporting front and I may have found a new source or, at the very least, one I have not run into before on this topic. We're talking about The South China Morning Post, published in Hong Kong.
I’ve run across it in recent weeks while looking for information on China, but the SCMP reports on a huge swath of South Asia well beyond China’s borders. And I’ve found a huge trove of religion-oriented pieces, including quite a bit on China’s response to ISIS’ involvement with Muslims in its western provinces. Click here for a piece on the Chinese jihadis in Syria.
This major newsroom has also done a recent piece on how the Communist Party’s tentacles are still trying to influence Tibetan Buddhists.
The SCMP has reached into neighboring Malaysia to explore why, for Muslims there, child sex is forbidden but child marriage is OK. It just reviewed a book on why the death of Mao Tse-tung opened the gates for religion to flourish in China. And the newspaper has documented the government crackdown on Christianity, noting in a recent piece that, after officials ordered crosses torn down from 360 or so church towers, they have now ordered surveillance cameras set up inside churches in heavily Christian Wenzhou.
Christians and government officials have come to blows over demands that churches in a city known as “China’s Jerusalem” install surveillance cameras for “anti-terrorism and security purposes”.
The Zhejiang government issued the orders to churches in Wenzhou late last year and began implementing them before the Lunar New Year holiday in January.
The confrontation with the city’s Christian community, which is estimated to number roughly one million, comes three years after the authorities ordered the removal of crosses on top of church buildings, on the grounds that they were illegal structures. Opponents called the 2014 campaign religious persecution.