China’s underground churches


With descriptive language, an article in Time Magazine about Chinese people celebrating their faith in underground churches in the LightBox session is fascinating and well written.

Chinese citizens can’t express their faith legally in the country: China is officially atheist and, according to the article, the China’s ruling Communist Party only allows one religion to operate within tight parameters.

The Holy Week was celebrated in the Northern China’s Hebei Province by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association that is not recognized by the Vatican as a real entity. This association has to practice its religion in underground churches with the fear of closure and imprisonment of its priests.

The article also talks about the history of Catholic churches and worshipers in China, which were repressed after the Communist revolution in 1949. There are more Protestants now in the country that are expressing their faith, but the government is trying to hold them back and asking them to “remove their crosses” or else the churches would be demolished.

What I liked about  this story is that it has a lot of details, it is written by Time‘s East Asia bureau chief and it tells more than the current news itself, such as the history of how religions fit in the scenario of China. People are trying to express their faith even illegally and the article shows that through pictures and videos; the multimedia content brings the story to life.

In a complicated situation in which many worshipers live in China, the writer of the article knew how to stay neutral through the text and show that there are people that want to express their faith and get together with other worshipers; without taking sides but merely showing that this believers exist and need to be heard and express what they believe.