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Good afternoon, everyone.
Welcome to the interview dialogues of The Trumpet of Truth!
I'm your host Zhong Xin.
Today, we're honored to be able to invite Professor Massimo Introvigne again,
who is a renowned expert on new religious movements,
to discuss and analyze
the Chinese Communist Party's repression and persecution of Christians.
Professor Introvigne, good afternoon!
Good afternoon!
Professor Introvigne.
The governments of many democratic countries in the world
respect religious beliefs.
They impose no restrictions on religions.
But the CCP has always been persecuting Catholic and Protestant house churches,
among which The Church of Almighty God suffers particularly serious persecution.
The CCP has not only carried out national repression
against The Church of Almighty God
after discrediting and framing the Church,
but also found excuses to incite people's hatred toward it.
For instance,
the CCP passed judgment on Christians
who gave up their families and jobs to preach the gospel and witness for God
and smeared that they abandoned and destroyed families.
Professor Introvigne, you are also a person of faith.
What do you think about the CCP's judgments on Christians?
Sometimes there are members who decide to serve as full-time missionaries,
and leave their family,
but that's very common in Christianity.
Jesus Christ Himself has some words about it:
You should leave your father and mother (for God's kingdom).
There are tens of thousands,
indeed hundreds of thousands of Catholic priests and nuns
who leave their families to join the priesthood or religious orders.
Even in the Protestant world,
there is, I would say, even an increasing number of full-time missionaries.
Sometimes true in the Protestant world that families go to a mission,
but it's also the case that people go alone,
so they leave their families to be missionaries.
That also happens.
By the way,
we can say that it's typical of Christianity in general.
But I would say it's typical of religion.
And we find similar developments in Judaism, in Buddhism.
So it's typical of all religions
to have ordained or non-ordained communities of people
who decide to serve as missionaries full-time.
So it's not (only) typical of The Church of Almighty God,
it's typical of Christianity,
but it's also typical of religion in general.
Professor Introvigne, what you say is in line with the facts.
I remember that the Lord Jesus once said this:
The Church of Almighty God Christians leave their home and loved ones
in order to preach the kingdom gospel to those who long for God's appearance.
Meanwhile,
they have been at the risk of being arrested and persecuted by the CCP at any time.
They did the same thing as those
who martyred for their mission of spreading Jesus Christ's gospel.
Both their missions are deemed to be
cooperating with God's work of saving mankind on Earth
in accordance with the teachings of the Lord Jesus.
Scandalously,
the CCP speaks of
the Christians' forsaking their family or job to preach the kingdom gospel
as a negative thing that ruins the family,
even defining gospel preaching as a criminal act.
The CCP also has made a fuss about the fact
that some Church of Almighty God Christians have undergone divorce
and has claimed that The Church of Almighty God separates families
in order to incite people's hatred toward The Church of Almighty God.
Professor Introvigne,
what do you think about this matter?
The CCP is an atheistic party
that never believes the existence of God or reads the Bible.
What exactly does it want to achieve by doing this?
Well, as I said,
the position of the CCP singling out The Church of Almighty God
is a little bit strange.
One reason is that
leaving the families to preach if you feel this calling,
this is, as I said before, common in all religion.
If you become a Catholic priest,
you leave your family, you don't marry.
If you become a Catholic nun,
you leave your family, you don't marry.
That's also happening in Protestantism and other religions.
But perhaps it's even more interesting to remember
that in the early days of the CCP, and even in the Cultural Revolution,
there were many Chinese who were actually encouraged by the words of Chairman Mao
to leave their families to become propaganda agents of the CCP full-time.
So not only religions, but even in the CCP history,
we find people who left their family to devote to an ideology all their life.
So it's very common in human history.
I know also that CCP propaganda insists on the fact
that sometimes people divorce
when only one spouse joins or leaves The Church of Almighty God.
But in practice if you take seriously your religion
it's very difficult to be together
if only one of the spouses strongly believes in one religion
and the other doesn't.
That's a fact of life.
So I would say it's very much possible that
if somebody joins The Church of Almighty God, and the spouse doesn't want to join,
they divorce.
That's true for The Church of Almighty God,
for the Jehovah's Witnesses, for the Shouters,
but it's also true for the Catholic Church or Islam.
If I become a Muslim and my wife doesn't want to become a Muslim,
most probably there will be a divorce.
But if we are a Muslim couple and one spouse converts to Christianity,
and the other spouse doesn't want to convert to Christianity,
99 percent of the cases there would be a divorce.
So I would say that divorce is a fact of life.
I don't know statistics in China and in Korea,
but in the West the majority of marriages end up in divorce.
Apart from this, when only one spouse has strong religious experience of conversion
and the other doesn't,
divorce is very frequent in all religions.
So what I see,
which I believe it's a certain bad faith in the CCP propaganda
that sometimes, or very often even,
they take features which are typical of all Christians, of all religions,
and they use them as weapons against The Church of Almighty God.
But these are not (only) features of The Church of Almighty God:
Having full-time missionaries,
(or that) sometimes people divorce because only one spouse converts.
These are features of Christianity in general and even of religion in general.
You're right, Professor Introvigne.
The CCP not only uses these features of religion in general
to attack and discredit The Church of Almighty God in China
with all possible propaganda tools,
saying that believing in God destroys people's families,
but also uses overseas media to manipulate public opinion favorable to them.
After Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited the UK in June 2014,
a report was published by the BBC,
in which it discredits The Church of Almighty God
by fabricating rumors that the Church is anti-family.
It's really questionable why the BBC disseminated such rumors,
and what was really going on between the BBC and the CCP.
Professor Introvigne,
what would you like to say about the BBC's accusation
that The Church of Almighty God is anti-family?
I have just finished a study of the family in The Church of Almighty God.
There are two reasons for this study.
The first is the accusations by CCP and also by some Christian leaders
that Almighty God teaches that family is something bad.
Unfortunately,
this information has also been spread by some Western journalists,
but they only relied on sources of people who are against The Church of Almighty God,
they didn't do a lot of homework.
So that's the first reason.
And the second reason is
to understand how The Church of Almighty God was able to grow so rapidly.
Normally sociological theory teaches
that family plays an important role, not an exclusive role of course,
but an important role when movements grow very rapidly.
If movements are against the family,
it's very difficult for them to grow,
particularly in the initial stage.
So there are really two parts of my study,
the first part is to go through The Word Appears in the Flesh
and other statements of faith of The Church of Almighty God
to determine what are Almighty God's teachings on the family.
Because here there is a misunderstanding,
because some people will say
since The Word Appears in the Flesh is the holy scripture for our time
and it supersedes the Bible,
that means that everything which is in the Bible
is not respected by The Church of Almighty God
including the Ten Commandments.
That's not the case,
because of course, The Church of Almighty God teaches that
in the Bible there are words of God, but also words of men,
so not everything is perfect in the Bible.
But there are several statements by Almighty God
that the Commandments maintain a certain validity
and in particular that
respect for families and respect for the parents remains very important
also in the Age of Kingdom.
And also Almighty God teaches that marriage should be respected
and that marital infidelity is something very bad.
I will say that we find in the words of Almighty God
the idea that the family is something preordained by God,
so the family is not something bad, it's actually something good,
and even in the Age of Kingdom,
God keeps reminding us that we should respect the family,
honor the parents, maintain the fidelity to our partner.
So what is said that the theology of The Church of Almighty God is against family
doesn't find any support in the words of Almighty God.
The second part of my study is about the growth,
because even when I went to China,
the CCP authorities are very astonished of the growth of The Church of Almighty God.
That's the reason of their fear, I believe,
that's the deep reason of their fear.
They do not understand how the Church can grow so rapidly.
Of course, normally scholars distinguish
between what we call etic and emic, etic without “h”, etic.
That's the perspective of the insiders
and the perspective of the scholars looking from outside.
So from the point of view of the members of The Church of Almighty God,
the reason why The Church of Almighty God grows
is because it is the Church of God,
and God helps it to grow.
I believe that should not be dismissed even by scholars lightly,
because we know that in the end people join a church
because they find the message persuasive,
so we should not dismiss the idea
that the main reason why people joined The Church of Almighty God
is because they read The Word Appears in the Flesh
and they find it highly persuasive.
One of my masters was perhaps the most famous sociologists of religion alive,
he's 82 now,
Rodney Stark, who teaches in Texas at Baylor University.
Rodney Stark always says we should always believe that
people convert to a religion because they find that this religion is true,
so that's the main motivation.
But unfortunately, it's a motivation difficult to measure.
Scholars can only measure the human side of religion
but that's not to deny that the divine side is the most important.
We should do our work as scholars and outsiders
and also try to assess the human side.
When it comes to assessing the human side,
I studied the questionnaires
submitted to 500 members of The Church of Almighty God,
and I found that there is a significant difference
between the members who return to Almighty God in China
and those, both Chinese and non-Chinese, who return to Almighty God in other countries.
In China, it seems from the questionnaires
that a very significant number of people, indeed, the majority
first heard about Almighty God from a relative,
and also that members of family were important in their return to Almighty God.
It's not the only way of returning to Almighty God,
sometimes entire Christian congregations convert.
And it's also possible—
because of course I could not give questionnaires
to members of The Church of Almighty God in China,
it will be too dangerous.
So questionnaires were only administered
to members of The Church of Almighty God outside of China—
so it's possible that those who were converted in the family
are over-represented in the diaspora abroad,
so all sociological studies are subject to some caution.
But what comes out without making absolute generalizations is that
family networks are an important part of
the growth of The Church of Almighty God in China.
As opposite, abroad the situation is different,
because your communities are small
and many of your members left their families to come abroad.
So many of those who convert abroad
know you through the Internet or through your literature
rather than through family members.
So abroad, the situation is different than in China.
But in China, family networks are very important
and that, I believe, is another evidence
that The Church of Almighty God is not against the family.
Of course, there are different situations,
sometimes the families are separated because of the persecution of the CCP,
but that's the fault of the CCP,
not of The Church of Almighty God.
Yes, I totally agree with you.
Professor Introvigne,
Regarding the consequences of
the CCP government's brutal persecution of religious freedom,
we have conducted some surveys and assessments.
In mainland China,
at least 300,000 to 400,000 CAG Christians have been arrested or imprisoned.
There are at least 500,000 to 600,000 Christians who have gone into exile
and were rendered homeless with their families scattered.
Countless Christian families have been thus broken!
It can be seen that the CCP government is the main culprit
behind the breakdown of Christian families.
However, it actually turns the table around
and says that these families are broken
because people have abandoned their families for their belief in God.
This is really distorting the facts and inverting black and white!
What people in overseas countries hear
about the facts of the CCP's persecution of Christians
is only the tip of the iceberg.
They heard about these, but most of them do not understand:
Why does the CCP so insanely persecute house church Christians?
Professor Introvigne, what do you think of it?
Well, I believe there is a general reason,
which is very obvious,
that the CCP doesn't like religion.
They can accommodate religion
because, I believe it was (unavoidable).
First, Deng Xiaoping recognized that
religion would still exist for centuries,
contrary to what Marx and Lenin said.
So in a way they can try to accommodate and control,
but it's clear that
in their ideology they do not like religion in general.
This is very simple and pretty much obvious,
but it's a basic presupposition.
We should understand that
the CCP is an atheist Communist Party,
so they do not like religion in general.
Second, all the history of the CCP proves
that they persecute independent religions.
They call these religions non-Sinicized.
The word “sinicization” is an old word,
actually was created, I believe, by Chiang Kai-shek, before the CCP.
But “sinicization” is a word which now the CCP gives a different meaning,
because in the ideas of nationalist Chinese,
sinicization means
all organizations in China should have Chinese leaders, not foreign leaders.
Now, in this case,
The Church of Almighty God would fare very well
because not only does it have Chinese leaders,
but also its religion was born in China, not imported from the West.
So it should be the perfect example of a sinicized religion.
Unfortunately,
for the CCP, the word “sinicized” has a different meaning,
it doesn't mean that your leaders should be Chinese,
but it means that your leaders should be appointed by the CCP
and should share the ideology of the CCP.
So the Three-self Church is sinicized not because the leaders are Chinese,
but because the leaders are appointed by the CCP
and the leaders are willing to work completely with CCP.
So that's the real meaning of “sinicized.”
And in this case, of course,
The Church of Almighty God, like many house churches,
like the underground Catholic church, is not sinicized,
because its leaders are not appointed by the CCP,
and do not work hand-in-hand with the CCP.
So that's already a reason for persecution.
Then there is a third reason
that became very clear when we went to China.
The CCP is very much afraid of groups growing very rapidly,
because they start thinking if they grow and grow,
they can even become bigger than the Communist Party,
or they can convert members of the Communist Party.
And that's also the reason they target particularly The Church of Almighty God,
because they were very impressed by the growth,
they cannot explain the growth, and they are afraid of this growth.
Professor Introvigne, you are absolutely right!
I very much agree with your point of view.
The CCP is an atheist revolutionary party.
It is hostile to theism as a whole.
Therefore, it is not surprising
that the CCP brutally persecutes religious beliefs.
This is determined by its evil essence.
The CCP has designated Protestantism and Catholicism as Xie Jiao,
and the Bible as a cult book.
Countless copies of it have been confiscated and burned.
Bibles sent to China from various countries and regions including Taiwan and Hong Kong
were dumped into the sea.
Many missionaries sent to China from various countries overseas
were arrested and repatriated.
Many Christian leaders and elders were sentenced to prison,
such as Watchman Nee, Wang Mingdao, and others.
Today, after Xi Jinping took office,
he has resumed the policy of dismantling crosses and demolishing churches.
It is reported that some particularly good churches were blown up.
However, these reports are only the tip of the iceberg.
The CCP has committed countless heinous crimes,
it is more evil than the Hitler fascist regime.
Yet, countries around the world know too little
about the CCP's persecution of religious beliefs.
They even believe the CCP's nonsense that distorts the facts and deludes people.
This is really a sad thing.
Professor Introvigne, what do you think about this?
I believe, some years ago, many years ago actually,
there was an American scholar called Robert Conquest.
He did some calculations
and determined the CCP in China killed more people than Hitler.
It's an interesting old book that perhaps should be rediscovered.
After this, I believe,
in France was published a book called The Black Book of Communism some years ago,
and they also did the calculation in different countries
and these scholars came out with the same answer
that the Chinese Communist regime actually killed more people than Hitler.
That's not to say anything positive about Hitler of course,
he was a criminal.
Even killing one person innocent is one person, too many.
So of course killing millions like Hitler is a horrible crime.
But sometimes scholars like to make statistics,
and it comes out that the CCP regime actually killed more people.
And there is a difference of course,
that everybody in the world, except a few crazy Neo-Nazis,
would regard Hitler as a criminal,
but few people are aware of the crimes committed in China,
so the level of awareness is completely different.
If you mention to a schoolboy Hitler,
immediately he realizes we are talking about a criminal.
I recently was in Kyrgyzstan for a conference,
and I heard about the image, the public opinion,
Central Asia has of the various governments.
It comes out the worst is United States,
the best is Russia, and China is in the middle,
so meaning that populations in many countries
do not have a bad impression of the Chinese government
and they do not know what's really going on in China,
particularly in matters of religious freedom and persecution of Christians.
That can be said also for Russia, but that's of course another matter.
People don't know what's really going on there.
So I agree with your comment
that the problem is
the awareness of the religious persecution in China in the world is very low.
And in part it's low because of CCP propaganda,
but in part it's low because of political and economic reasons.
Many countries, many media conglomerates, newspapers, governments, businesses,
they do business with China
and so they don't want to compromise their business with China
by telling the truth about the religious situation
and the human rights situation in China.
And also some countries,
that can be true in South Korea for instance,
they need the help of China
to solve problems with North Korea or other international problems,
so they don't want to antagonize China
by talking too much on human rights and religious freedom.
So I believe there is important work to do
in raising continuously the issue of human rights and religious liberty in China
and in particular the issue of the persecution of The Church of Almighty God,
because all these people need to know.
Perhaps some know, but they are afraid to speak,
but some genuinely don't know.
So there is a lot of work to do,
to tell the truth about the religious persecution in China.
Thank you, professor Introvigne.
Thank you for joining our interview dialogues of The Trumpet of Truth
and sharing with us your opinions.
Thank you.
Thank you for watching!
See you again next time!
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

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Massimo Introvigne | Part 2 : Analyzing the CCP's Rumors Against The Church of Almighty God

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yi.ping 2018 年 5 月 10 日 に公開
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