According to reports, the Chinese government has issued orders banning children from attending church services in the country.
The government claims its new orders to stop children from attending church services within the country, was made in an effort to tighten their hold on religious activities.
DailyMail reports that over 100 churches in Wenzhou, China, were given a notice from government officials, informing them of the ban against children attending or participating in church activities.
This order seems to have been a long time coming, as some churches in the Zheijang Province, were made to remove symbols like the cross, from their buildings in 2014.
William Nee, a researcher for Amnesty International spoke to MailOnline, saying:
"At this point, it is unclear how widespread the bans on children attending church services are in China, but these alarming reports seem to be coming in from fairly diverse areas throughout the country. China is in the midst of a religious revival and the current government seems concerned that religion could be a means through which foreign values may 'penetrate' into China and ultimately affect political stability."
Nee also said:
“In an important speech on religion last year, the President, Xi Jinping, said that young people must study science, believe in science and develop a ‘correct’ worldview and set of values. It could be that the government is concerned that young people going to church or religious activities may challenge their monopoly on truth and the government’s ability to instill its own historical narratives and worldview through the public education system.
In this speech, President Xi Jinping also re-emphasized the need for Communist Party cadres to be strict Marxist atheists, and not to find values or beliefs in religion. As a result, we’ve seen more cadres and government employees punished and fired government for attending religious activities."