Letter to the Editor
Thursday, November 19, 2015
China’s deplorable religious policies
Letter to the Editor | Thursday, November 19, 2015
China’s unelected government, for example, blocks its citizens’ access to Facebook, Twitter, as well as to the Bloomberg and New York Times websites (among others). Activist Liu Xiaobo, who won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, is serving an 11-year jail term for subversion. And of course, whether it’s building artificial islands in the South China Sea, selling arms to Iran or enabling North Korea, many Chinese policies run directly counter to U.S. objectives.
But perhaps most troubling for Notre Dame should be that China does not allow true freedom of religion. Specifically, Catholics can only legally worship through the state-sponsored Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association’s network of approved churches and risk arrest, or worse, if they’re caught at any of China’s many underground real Catholic churches. As the Wall Street Journal, also censored by China, reported in 2014, “Authorities launch periodic crackdowns involving church demolitions, beatings and imprisonment of worshipers or priests at underground churches.” What’s more, the so-called “Patriotic” Church doesn’t recognize the primacy of the Pope and the Chinese government (not Rome) appoints Chinese bishops.
We can’t change China, as that change has to come from within. But how can the world’s leading Catholic university, one that also prizes human rights and open debate, let products bearing its name be made in a country that forbids the true practice of that faith, limits free speech and jails peaceful dissidents?
I thought Notre Dame was about more than cutting costs or finding a more efficient supply chain. Maybe not.
MBA class of 1999
Comments are welcome.
Jesus Is Lord!