Zhejiang Theological Seminary sings Chinese national anthem at commencement

Monday, July 25, 2016

A cross being destroyed in Zhejiang
province. (Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Written in Chinese by China Aid Correspondent Guo Baosheng. Translated by Carolyn Song. Edited in English by Ava Collins.

As seen in a video that was recently distributed domestically, students singing the national anthem was a significant part of the graduation ceremony at Zhejiang Theological Seminary. This is an inevitable product of the authorities forcibly destroying crosses in the Zhejiang area since 2014, spreading the Sinicization of Chrisitanity, and vigorously pushing [churches] to fly the national flag.

The president of the seminary, Pan Xingwang, is a pastor and leader who supports the authorities in their cross demolition campaign and has repeatedly spoken out in support of the authorities’ Sinicized Christianity and “Five Entries and Five Transformations” Movement [Editor’s note: the movement is a systematic procedure being used in Zhejiang to force Christianity to be more in line with state values]. Pan played an unfortunate role in the persecution of Christians by authorities. Under his leadership, Zhejiang Theological Seminary has become a base which creates only Red pastors.

The 2016 Undergraduate Admissions Guide of the Theological Seminary states: “The seminary’s training objectives are: to cultivate preachers who consciously accept the leadership of the Party and the government, safeguard national unification and ethnic unity, adhere to the principle of an independent [from foreign influence] and self-managing Church that is politically reliable, knowledgeably accomplished, of a moral character that will convince the public, useful in critical moments and will keep closely in touch with believers and adapt to the trend of the times.” The main courses offered are: “Religious Policy, Patriotism Tutorials, Tutorials in Christian Patriotism, Deng Xiaoping Theory, Legal Knowledge, and Current Affairs Lectures.” The subject and range of examinations include: “3, Politics, including: 1. Newsletter (February 2015-January 2016); 2. Religious laws [exam candidates may refer to the policies and regulations made by State Council Religious Affairs Bureau’s Religious Work and the Booklets (Beijing: Religious culture Publishing House)]; 3. Economic common sense; 4. Philosophical common sense; 5. Political and legal knowledge.” (Note: 3-5 are primarily based on a trial version of the full-time regular senior high school textbook, Political Thought, a total of five).

At the 2016 spring semester opening ceremony, Pan Xingwang said, “Over the past year, within the Christian churches of Zhejiang, something took place that we do not want to see, and we do not want to hear. Please learn this lesson and pray for the churches, remind students to be more alert, make a clear faith, care for the churches, respect the law and be good shepherds of the new era.” [Pan continued, saying,] “Students need to know how to behave appropriately within boundaries and determine their place, not do criminal things, say false words or speak in ways which cause disputes.”

It is obvious the seminary has degenerated into absolute obedience to the Communist Party’s so-called Christian pastors’ education base, becoming a Communist Party school dressed in the cloak of Christianity. In this way, they submit to Caesar and [operate] contrary to God. They distort the true way [to God], and [these actions] will certainly accelerate the demise of the Three-Self Church and its seminary.

[Editor’s note: Man De’s original article included an appendix with the full 2016 Undergraduate Admissions Guide of Zhejiang Theological Seminary. A translation of this document is available upon request.]

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