State bans Christmas in parts of China, Santa included

Light of truth

As Christmas approaches, officials in China have requested strict controls on festive celebrations as the country continues its crackdown on religions at the end of a year that has seen stepped -up persecution of Christians.

Shops and street vendors alike are reportedly being banned from selling wares considered “controversial” by the state in various parts of the country.

Meanwhile, some underground churches — including those organized at people’s homes, and others not sanctioned by the officially atheist, communist government — have been warned not to hold any gatherings.

A notice issued by the Urban Management Bureau in Langfang city of Hebei province in northern China on Dec. 15 that was circulated online requires all local law enforcement agencies to “comprehensively ban all Christmas items such as Christmas trees and Santa Claus placed along the street.” Moreover, they have been instructed to “clear away all Christmas stickers, banners, signs, light-box advertisements and other related promotional items.”

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