Wenzhou city released a pledge for kindergarten parents not to hold religious beliefs

Kindergarten parents must pledge not to hold religious beliefs

Photo: Wenzhou city released a pledge for families not to hold religious beliefs (ChinaAid source)


(Zhejiang—March 20, 2023) Parents of Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, were asked to sign a “Pledge Form of Commitment for Family Not To Hold Religious Beliefs.” A preschool teacher in Wenzhou confirmed that this mandate is the first of its kind, forcing families to not hold any religious beliefs.

The new pledge

In the first ten days of March this year, many kindergartens in Wenzhou’s Longwan district uniformly issued the pledge to the guardians of students. Two kindergartens issued a “Pledge Form of Commitment for Family Not To Hold Religious Belief,” compelling the families to make multiple commitments.

Families banned from having religious beliefs

Among them, which attracted particular attention, was for the parents: “do not hold a religious belief, do not participate in any religious activities, and do not propagate and disseminate religion in any locations […]Exemplary observance of the Party discipline and the country’s laws and regulations, never join any Falun Gong and other cult organizations.”

Teacher confirms with ChinaAid

An anonymous kindergarten teacher in Wenzhou told ChinaAid:

“In the past, the higher-level education department made it compulsory for kindergartens not to be superstitious and not to participate in cult organizations, but did not mandate kindergarten children’s families not to believe in religion or participate in any religious activities.”

Previous persecution in Wenzhou

Wenzhou is one of the most vibrant Christian regions in China. In 2014, the government began a large-scale cross-removal campaign that lasted for more than two years. Then, in August 2017, many local churches received notices from the government that minors were strictly prohibited from entering churches.

Children banned from learning about religion

Moreover, it was illegal to organize religious activities for minors. The Wenzhou government also banned the city’s hospital employees, school lecturers, and all civil servants from entering churches. Now, local authorities have expanded their censorship of religious beliefs from middle school, elementary school, and high school to kindergartens and have banned entire families of kindergarten students from believing in religion or participating in religious activities.

Similar pledges in the past

A similar situation once occurred in Xiaoshan, Zhejiang, but it was limited to the kindergarten teachers who were party members. On February 15 this year, the Communist Party branch of Tianle Kindergarten in Xiaoshan, Zhejiang, carried out an event. They were encouraged to “stay firm to [the Chinese Communist Party’s] ideals and beliefs, do not hold a religious belief, and do not propagate religious beliefs.” Teachers signed a pledge form not to believe in religion and to put an end to religious beliefs.

The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China guarantees that every citizen enjoys the freedom of religious belief. The directive requiring the entire family of kindergarten children to sign a “Pledge Form To Hold Religious Belief” is a clear violation of the Chinese Constitution.

~Gao Zhensai, Special Correspondent of ChinaAid

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