Wenzhou City Kindergartens Enforce on Parents Pledge Prohibiting Falun Gong Activity
Parents of kindergarteners in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province were forced to sign a pledge stating they would not practice religion or teach the beliefs to their children.
One line in the pledge stipulated the entire family will “never join any Falun Gong and other heretic organizations” in an “exemplary observance of the Party discipline and the country’s laws and regulations.”
The ultimatum, titled “Wenzhou Kindergartens’ Family Commitment to Non-Belief,” was shared with international human rights organizations by a set of Christian parents from Longwan District, according to ChinaAid.
If the parents sign the compulsory statement, their children could continue to attend kindergarten. If they do not, their children would be ineligible to attend school in Wenzhou City.
The pledge requires parents to promise to lead “civilized families” who “do not believe in religion, do not participate in any religious activities, do not teach religion to children.” Rather than encouraging religious or spiritual aspirations, parents commit to nurturing children with faith in science, socialism, and the Chinese Communist Party.
Similar documents targeting teachers and faculty to not practice religion circulated in China before, but this pledge appears to be the first that targets families and children for their freedom of belief, a civil right ostensibly protected in China’s Constitution.
History of Repression
While it’s new for these schools to target religion more broadly, since the the persecution of Falun Gong began, teachers and students at all age levels have been forced to sign statements saying they do not practice Falun Gong. Likewise, there are countless instances of companies requiring workers to sign similar statements.
These instances fall into a broader range of persecutory tactics used to repress Falun Gong practitioners since 1999.
Evidently, the Chinese Communist Party has since exported this repression model abroad. Current and prospective employees at Huawei, teachers at Confucius Institutes, and other Chinese companies are prohibited from practicing Falun Gong.