A university in China has banned Christmas, saying it wants to help young people resist the “corrosion of Western religious culture.”
The Communist Youth League at Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, in China’s north-east, posted an online notice informing students that the ban was to help them develop their own “cultural confidence”.
The notice reads: “In recent years, influenced by Western culture and individual business operations, as well as erroneous public opinions expressed on the Internet, some young people are blindly excited by Western holidays, especially religious holidays like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”
The notice said that the students’ union, the different student associations, and the sub branches of the youth league would not be permitted to hold Christmas-related activities.
The ban was put in place “in order to guide the youth league members in building cultural confidence and resisting the corrosion caused by Western religious culture”, it added.
Wenzhou, a city in the wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang, has also banned all Christmas activities in schools and kindergartens, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Some academics in China have complained about an ideological tightening since President Xi Jinping assumed leadership of the Communist Party five years ago.
Christmas is not a national holiday in officially atheist China, and few people understand its traditional meanings or religious roots.
However, it is becoming more popular among the wealthier families in China’s larger cities.