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Chinese authorities shut down Christian kindergarten

East Asia

Chinese authorities shut down Christian kindergarten

Xi Jinping. Premier of China, whose government has imposed a crackdown on Christians

Authorities in Henan province shut down a Christian kindergarten on 14 March 2018, allegedly for health and safety reasons.

The Tian-ai Kindergarten in Weihui had been run by a local church. The 60-70 children who attended have now been forced to go to other non-Christian schools nearby.

A local Christian told journalists, “Nearby kindergartens which are run much more badly were not seized – only the one run by the church”, adding, “We can only fully obey the government and pray. We have no other choice.”

The closing of the kindergarten appears to be part of an ongoing clamp down on Christians across China. In February, President Xi Yinping (who is now able to hold office for life following the recent removal of term limits) told the Communist Party’s National Congress that the expression of religion in China must be “Chinese in orientation”.

Recent months have witnessed a spate of church demolitions across China, but efforts have also been made to ban students from attending religious events, while a university in Shenyang banned students from celebrating Christmas.