The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on December 21, 1953 · Page 9
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 9

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Monday, December 21, 1953
Page 9
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, isss JUATHICVILU (AJtK.) COURIER NEW* PAGE NINB Communists Merciless and Primitive In Crushing Out Christianity in China By FRED SPARKS NEA Staff Correspondent HONG KONG — (NBA) — They led the Catholic priest through the public square by a ring placed in his nose like a cow. They tossed the Protestant minister into a pit hole of filth and made him dig his way out with chopsticks as newsreel cameras turned. These two primitive and recent Incidents mirror the Communist I drive to crush Christianity in China. Mouthing ancient Marxism, Peking politicians love to play with this line: "Opium is now forbidden in China, and religion is the opium of the masses." What actually Is behind this brutal business, sped-up since the Korean truce as Bed China feels stronger to defy world opinion? It is simply fear; fear by a minority- managed police state of any organized group not party controlled — even if gathered but to worship God. A White Paper on the fate of Chinese ministers, nuns and priests is being documented, similar to that regarding North Korean atrocities recently presented to the UN. For the moment this paper is withheld —to protect those Chinese for whom there is yet hope. But trains from Canton bring non- Chinese Men-of-Cod, with hollow eyes and sallow skin. So it was here on Rosary Hill, a Catholic retreat high above Hong Kong Harbor, shrouded like a nun's bonent with fleecy white fog, that I heard the story of Father Alphonse Caouette, just "expelled." from Manchuria. (Ninety per cent of foreign missionaries have been expelled. In 1947 there were — for example — 5496 Catholic missionaries; today there are 723). Forty-one, Father Caouette came from Quebec 17 years ago bringing the clinic as well as The Cross to the backward Diocese of Szeplnkai near Harbin. Like many missionaries, he sought to heal the body as well as the soul. * • * And so he lived quietly the Spart- i an life, in the clinic six days and on the pulpit the seventh. Then came the Communists with their neat blueprint. With snap they could have shut-' tered the church, dispatched foreign priests. But the blueprint said: "First create doubt, then ridicule, • then hate." After all, the farm peo- pie had seen medicines adminis- • tered to Buddhist and Christian alike. Everyone, said the Commissar, must help build "New China." Father Caouette, Chinese priests and \ nuns were assigned at four a.m. i daily to sweep streets — beginning on Sunday. i They were given a prominent I thoroughfare and good Communists were encouraged to jeer. Instead, I mr.ny heading for morning market I complained — and rifle butts were' . . . Father Antonio Bonin like a cow . . . the Reds treated him driven in their spines by guards. One bold man yelled to the Father as he labored with a meager whiskbroom: "They are trying to make you lose face. But we are the ones losing face." Slowly, Communist organizations requisitioned parts of clinic and church. They partitioned the chapel, using their half for "lectures," and next to a figurine of Mary and Child hung photographs of Stalin and Mao. Finally they commandeered the whole church, "allowing" services for the loyal congregation of 400 in a room 20 x 10. Father Caouette moved the worshippers outside (despite Siberian chills) until ruffians shouted down the hymns. The aim was clear. They wanted foreign priests to go but would not order them. They wanted a retreat. • » • Father Caouette and other mis sionarles decided to stick. Their congregations were now harassed individually, like the small boy caught wearing a rosary by a Communist "pioneer" youth. He was stripped naked but for his beads in the sub-zero clime, and held in _ hooting rlng-around-the-rosy for hours. When Chinese "volunteers" entered Korea, pressure Increased. The Father became practically a prisoner, often awakened nights by police seeking "evidence of spies. They fingered every book, including the Bible, recording flyleaf notations and paying special attention to a slip listing "two pounds of butter, half-dozen eggs ..." Nearby missions were closed, and Father Antonio Bonin joined him. Father Bonin, accused of favoring the UN in Korea, was led through the village by a thin rope fixed to a ring in his nose; spat on by many so inclined. ... This twilight existence continued uniil last month when the Communists, with a sense of desperation, questioned Father Caouette for endless hours, on his feet, at rigid attention, about the Pope and the Pope's "connection with Washington." He was given many papers to sign, but though misty with fatigue, refused. Finally he did sign one "confessing" that he said Russia persecuted religion. "Ah," said the wise Commissar, "this proves it. You are expelled." So Father Caouette was; shipped to Hong Kong, and later home to Canada, a Man-of-God who had won a bitter game of patience with Oriental communism. Please all the Family this Christmas with World Book Encyclopedia AJl subjects bound in order like a dictionary. First choice of America's Schools, Libraries and homes. Christmas delivery guaranteed until December 18. Call BILL PATTON, PHONE 8S9U, BLYTHEVILLE. Low down payment .... no carrying charges .... easy terms. DON'T DELAY! Order this practical gift. Baptist Ask For Increase NASHVILLe, Tenn. W) — The Southern Baptist Convention will b* (Sited to set aside 19,200,000 for expenses in 1955, »if increase of $350,000 over the 1954 budget. The proposed 1055 budget was agreed upon by the convention's executive committee here. It will be presented at the church's general convention at St. Louis next June 2-5. The additional funds would be for use In the work of the 19 institutions and agencies supported by Southern Baptists. Biggest in-1 » ueno « n: as ta Yau Tnn crease would be $75,000 for the' Ducno * uloi to • OU, IOO it Radio Commission, giving total of 5200,000. It takes about eight minutes for light from the sun to reach the earth, but It gels here from the moon in only 1.3 seconds. ATLANTIC CITY, N. J. 1/H — Third graders In an Atlantic City school start the day in,class with "Buenas Dlas." The children are being taught Spanish as part of a growing movement In U. S. education to start students on foreign languages at an early age. -«•» II Mellow as Moonlight YES-MELLOW AS MOONLIGHT FOR ITS 83rd HOLIDAY SEASON! ...only CASCADE gives you the light, mellow richness of the original 1870 formula. Smoothed by nature to the peak of old-fash'n goodness, CASCADE comes to you "from the life and vigor of the grain!" 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