Tags: Religion | Kaifeng | Jews

Chinese Authorities Clamp Down on Small Jewish Community

Image:  Chinese Authorities Clamp Down on Small Jewish Community

 (AP)

By    |   Sunday, 25 Sep 2016 10:46 PM

Chinese authorities have been closing down all signs of organized Jewish life in Kaifeng, and the few hundred people who claim Jewish ancestry have been forced underground to practice their religion, The Times of Israel reports.

All public signs of Jewish history in the city have also been removed, such as an ancient well believed to be the last remnant of a synagogue, which the Chinese have now buried under rubble.

Scholars say the Kaifeng Jewish community is about 1,200 years old and numbered, at its height some 500 years ago, about 5,000 people. It had strong institutions, but intermarriage and conversion gradually weakened the community before a recent revival.

The crackdown on the community, which now numbers about one thousand out of a general population of some 5 million residents in the city, comes as China has instituted a campaign against unapproved religion. Judaism is not recognized in China as a state-licensed religion.

Authorities have also locked down Buddhist monasteries and torn down church crosses in the eastern part of the country, The New York Times reports.

The crackdown on the Jewish community is also ironically coming as China and Israel have been strengthening economic and political ties, with the two countries recently signing a visa deal that has encouraged mutual travel.

Michael Freund, chairman of Shavei Israel, an organization which seeks to strengthen ties to the descendants of Jews in communities worldwide, wrote in The Jerusalem Post that the Israeli government must press the Chines to halt the crackdown on Kaifeng Jewry, whose "continued existence is testimony to the power of Jewish memory and to the centuries-old ties between China and the Jewish people."

He emphasized that such a small group of people who are only trying to rediscover their religion and heritage do not pose a threat to anyone.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Chinese authorities have been closing down all signs of organized Jewish life in Kaifeng, and the few hundred people who claim Jewish ancestry have been forced underground to practice their religion, The Times of Israel reports. All public signs of Jewish history in the city...
Kaifeng, Jews
302
2016-46-25
Sunday, 25 Sep 2016 10:46 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved