Local officials threatened that her subsidy would be stopped unless she removed images of Jesus from her home.
FUZHOU, China, June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic widow in Fuzhou city, Jiangxi province, has had her pension revoked because she refused to renounce her faith.
According to a report in Bitter Winter, the elderly woman had been receiving a small subsidy since her husband died in 2018. At the end of 2019, local officials threatened that her subsidy would be stopped unless she would remove images of Jesus from her home. “Because the Communist Party feeds you, you must only believe in it, not God,” they told her. When she refused to remove the images of Jesus, they canceled her subsidy. “It has become difficult to maintain belief in God because of religious persecution,” she told Bitter Winter.
Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, stated,
“It is a heartbreak and an outrage that widows and other elderly are forced to renounce their faith in order to receive stipends. For many, they may need these funds to survive. It is a pathetic act of cowardice to force desperate widows to choose between their survival and their God. This widow, who refused to renounce her faith potentially in the face of abject poverty, is heroic.
“This form of religious persecution,” Littlejohn continued,
“is on the rise in the area of China where we have our Save a Widow Campaign. I was just informed that in our area, a government official has instructed our widows to stay home on Sundays and not to go to church. He also ridiculed Jesus, saying, ‘The Chinese government gives you 160 RMB (about $23). How much money does Jesus Christ give you?’
“Fortunately for the widows in our area, they have a ready answer,” Littlejohn added.
“Our fieldworkers bring love and compassion to widows, along with practical help: a $25 monthly stipend that makes a huge difference in their lives, providing food and warmth. Our fieldworkers encourage these widows in their faith, and many have found new hope that there is a God who loves them.”
China also has a skyrocketing rate of senior suicide. The One Child Policy has destroyed the family structure in China. In the past, the Chinese enjoyed large families and it was not a burden for children and grandchildren to support the elderly. Now many elderly are completely abandoned and destitute, especially elderly widows. And the sad solution for many is to end their lives. “We are extending a lifeline to abandoned widows, who are eternally grateful for the help,” Littlejohn said.