In efforts to bring Christianity further under government control, authorities in China have erased the words “Bible,” “God” and “Christ” from classic children’s stories, including Robinson Crusoe.
China’s Ministry of Education recently introduced a new school textbook to help fifth-grade students “understand other cultures,” according to Asia News. Included in the textbook are four popular stories by foreign writers, including Robinson Crusoe, The Little Match Girl, and Vanka. However, each story is censored to remove any religious reference.
In Daniel Defoe’s 18th century classic novel, castaway Robinson Crusoe discovers three Bibles inside a shipwreck, which he then uses as his moral compass while stranded on the island. However, the Chinese version eliminates the word “Bible,” instead noting that Crusoe happened upon “a few books.”
The original The Little Match Girl, written by Danish author Hans Christian Anderson, includes the line, “when a star falls, a soul goes to be with God.” The redacted Chinese version, however, reads, “when a star falls, a person leaves this world.”
Anton Chekhov’s story Vanka includes a passage where a prayer is said inside a church, during which the word “Christ” is mentioned several times. In the Chinese version, that section is left out and every mention of the word Christ has been erased.
Asia News notes that the censorship of Christian religious elements isn’t isolated to elementary schools. Several college professors also condemn classics containing religious words and confiscate them. Among these are The Count of Montecristo by A. Dumas, Resurrection by Lev Tolstoy, and Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo.
In 2018, China’s ruling Communist Party implemented rules on religious practice and announced a five-year plan to make Christianity more compatible with socialism. Efforts to make the faith more “Chinese” reportedly included a rewrite of the New Testament using Buddhist scripture and Confucian teachings to establish a “correct understanding” of the text.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett