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  • Is religion banned in China? Well I'm

  • standing outside a big church here in

  • the middle of mainland China so I pose to

  • you that it is in fact not banned. This is

  • a big misconception;

  • but of course religion is controlled and

  • I'll get into that in a short while.

  • Firstly I just wanted to say, you know, as

  • a bit of a disclaimer that I personally

  • am not a very religious person. I guess

  • you could say I was brought up Christian, I

  • mean celebrating Christmas and you know

  • all that kind of thing; you know, we had

  • Bibal studies in school and all that,

  • but I was never that kind of

  • church-going sort of Christian or

  • anything like that, and I've always been

  • fairly open-minded to all religions, all

  • over the world. And you know, I don't have

  • any particular favorites to be

  • honest. The thing is, when you talk about

  • religion, just like politics or sex, you

  • tend to, you know, get certain people

  • annoyed, so I usually leave politics and

  • religion out of my videos. But today

  • because people ask this question quite

  • often, you know, "Are there churches?"

  • "Is religion banned?", "Are they

  • harvesting the organs of anyone who

  • tries to practise any kind of religion

  • here?"

  • Well no, not really but the

  • organ harvesting thing is something that

  • happens to criminals in China, it does.

  • I don't know the particulars; I never

  • really read up on it; you can go look. I'm

  • sure there's tons of people who will

  • tell you lots about that. But that's not

  • what this video is about. This video is

  • basically for all of you guys out there

  • who are curious about religion in China.

  • Let me cut to the chase here. Most

  • religions are accepted in China, as you

  • can see by the fact that there's a big

  • church right behind me over here.

  • And China doesn't particularly have a

  • problem with religion per se, but what

  • they do have a problem with is mass

  • gatherings that can get out of hand. And

  • this is something that they keep a very

  • close eye on because you know there's a

  • big mob mentality here in China which I've

  • experienced myself personally. And when

  • you get a lot of people all in

  • one place, if they get too excited or

  • they kick up a fuss, you know, it can

  • spark off like this and you'll have like

  • massive sort of civil unrest. That's

  • the biggest problem they have with

  • religion, not the religion itself. It's

  • more about large amounts of people

  • gathering together and you know sort of

  • I guess plotting or whatever. So

  • the thing is, places like this, churches

  • like this are allowed to exist; you are

  • free to practise your religion here in

  • China but you can't proselytize—I think

  • is the wordwhere you go around

  • trying to convert people. That's not

  • allowed

  • and when I've signed contracts to do

  • work here in the past, it actually stipulated

  • in the contract: it says you may not

  • proselytize. So you're more than free to

  • come and you know practice your

  • Christianity here and go to Mass and all

  • that

  • however China does want to make sure

  • that you are teaching their version of

  • Christianity. They do kind of want to

  • censor a few things and change a few

  • things here and there and you know if

  • you live in China you understand that's

  • just how it is they censor the internet

  • you know they censor things like pornography

  • for instance it's completely

  • illegal here and so there's a bit of

  • give and take. but of course if you're a

  • hardcore christian you know you

  • understand your faith, you can practice it

  • pretty much however you want as

  • long as you're not going out there

  • trying to convert people. Now

  • Christianity as a whole anyway because

  • I've got some Christian friends here is

  • pretty much unregulated like it they

  • might kind of want you to have you know

  • certain things not preached you know

  • certain parts they don't want read out

  • of the bible and stuff but it's

  • Catholicism that is actually controlled

  • to a certain degree. For instance you're not

  • allowed to follow the Pope here so the

  • Pope's not allowed to appoint bishops in

  • China things like that. The Chinese

  • Catholic Church, whatever does that and

  • like I said I'm not into religion so I

  • can't give you specifics,

  • it's something you can very easily find

  • online. Right, I'd like to move on from

  • Christianity but before I do I'd just like

  • to point out that actually right now

  • China is the fastest growing Christian

  • nation on earth at the moment and I do

  • find that a lot of my Chinese friends

  • who are Christians they generally come

  • from Taiwan or you know like for

  • instance this church there are Korean

  • signs all over, so I'm guessing the local

  • Korean population probably has something

  • to do with this church being built and

  • they've kind of come in and introduced it

  • and you know i have seen little churches

  • here and there and you do see churches

  • all over China it's not like it's

  • completely banned but anyway let's move on

  • and talk about the actual sort of

  • religions that Chinese people follow. Now

  • from my own observations anyway

  • Chinese people are less religious and

  • more superstitious, it's more about

  • tradition. There are temples all over the

  • place

  • unfortunately as I pointed out in the

  • past a lot of the traditions and you

  • know that the actual feeling behind it

  • the whole culture behind it was

  • destroyed during the very badly named

  • cultural revolution for this kind of

  • appropriate anyway thing is a lot of it

  • was wiped out so although traditions

  • still remain, they're not really as

  • deep and vibrant and full as they used

  • to be

  • however you can actually still see these

  • traditions very clearly if you just pop

  • over to Hong Kong people there are

  • incredibly traditional and you know they

  • go to the temple every year and their

  • temples all over Hong Kong and of course

  • in Taiwan as well it's very easy to see

  • the sort of elaborate temples in a way

  • people follow their traditions

  • I mean I have a little story when i bought

  • a scooter there in Taiwan years ago and

  • I was busy repairing it, there was

  • actually a good luck charm

  • a little Buddhist good luck charm inside

  • the scooter that somebody put inside

  • underneath the bodywork you know to keep

  • themselves safe as they drive so the

  • tradition and the superstition is a huge

  • part of people's lives you know in

  • Taiwan, Hong Kong and of course you know

  • in mainland China too, to a certain degree

  • now, it's difficult to sort of pigeonhole

  • Chinese religion and tradition and

  • superstition but it's kind of a mix between

  • Confucianism Buddhism and ancestor

  • worship. so you know you'll meet

  • people in general I'd say most of

  • the people you meet in China are rather

  • atheist and they live their lives in a very

  • sort of agnostic sort of a way however

  • they will always you know have some sort

  • of traditional still believe in things

  • like fate and luck and lucky numbers and

  • you know things like this and of course

  • there's a lot of ancestor worship here

  • as well, there's a lot of respect for the

  • elderly and respect for you know your

  • ancestors, where you come from

  • so it is very interesting and it's one

  • of the biggest attractions for a lot of

  • people who come to China they look for

  • that I want to go see the temple they

  • want to see the monks they want to see

  • you know that kind of thing I mean and

  • it does exist but it's really not as

  • prevalent as you might think i was

  • actually quite shocked and I know a lot

  • of people are going to say that Shenzhen

  • is a new city and there's not a lot of

  • culture there but trust me they are old

  • part of Shenzhen but I was quite shocked

  • at the fact that I look around and

  • didn't see any temples, here i am in a

  • completely different city this is a

  • 3rd-tier city I look around I don't see any

  • temples you know what I mean it's not as

  • prevalent as you may think there are of

  • course big famous temples all over China

  • and in the bigger cities you will

  • usually have one big temple that people

  • go to during new years Chinese New

  • Year's like you can see in the footage

  • here this was in Guangzhou you know

  • which is not far from where we are right

  • now and as you can see it's still

  • something very popular and it is very much

  • engrained in the Chinese mentality. I do

  • find that Chinese superstition and

  • tradition it do very much revolve around

  • the whole sort of luck and fortune

  • aspects and usually it's something like

  • go and pray at the temple so that you

  • can make money during the year we're

  • gonna pray the temple that you have good

  • health and good luck and your business

  • will be well it's usually something like

  • that. it's less of a sort of a

  • selfless religion like you'll find many

  • other religions around the world it's

  • more of a practical sort of religion

  • and superstition kind of setup now there

  • are still some rules here in China when

  • it comes to religion for instance if you

  • work for the Communist Party, if you work for

  • the government any i guess if you're a

  • postman or you're like a manager of I

  • don't know, the Vehicle Bureau anything

  • like that you're absolutely not allowed

  • to practice religion and you actually

  • have to sign a contract that says that you

  • won't and I guess they're probably

  • worried about people spreading their

  • religious

  • views around the office or maybe funneling

  • money out of work into their religion or

  • something so it's -- it's a big no no

  • so that's definitely something that is true

  • if you work in the government here you

  • are not allowed to practice religion as

  • for you as a foreigner coming to live and

  • work here in China or just visit there are

  • pretty much no restrictions like I said

  • the only thing you shouldn't do is go

  • around trying to spread the word of

  • Allah spread the word of Jesus spread

  • the word of Buddha or whatever it is that

  • you follow because you know that's when

  • you're going to start ruffling a few

  • feathers and people are going to start

  • you know say hey what the hell are you

  • doing here you're not go if you want to

  • practice your religion go elsewhere type

  • thing but it's very easy to find out

  • where your local christian churches or

  • there are mosques there are synagogues