Did I read this whole thing wrong?

Gibbon at Khao Lak Nature Lodge (TVC HQ)

Duped. I let down my guard and my prejudices about the Communist government of China flowed through. Boy, do I feel like an idiot. Today’s post from the London-based nonprofit, and, apparently highly professional World Watch Monitor titled Church standoff a study in China’s complexity has me on my heels.

The article frames the Wenzhou dispute over the height of a church and its ominous cross not as a clash between Communists and Christians but rather as a land-use dispute all too typical to China. It does leave room for some of the stupidity I’ve relayed to be accurate, but the weight of evidence and common sense seem to point in the direction that they point.

Governments in China be they local, regional, or national often fail miserably at the art of public relations, sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for the wrong ones. I hope you can find the time to read what they’ve written and comment.

Here’s their story:

Church standoff a study in China’s complexity
Published 26 April 2014  |   World Watch Monitor

It had all the appearances of a brutal government crackdown. Bulldozers were stationed at the perimeter of the Sanjiang Church in Wenzhou, China. Hundreds of church members formed a protective ring around their house of worship. The headlines were dramatic:

“Their Gov’t Wants to Curb Spread of Christianity,” The Blaze website blared. “Chinese Christians form human shield to save 4,000-seater church,” The Catholic Tablet said. “Chinese Church Faces Forced Demolition,” Christian News Network announced. “Faithful Rush to Protect Church With a Cross Deemed Too Tall,” wrote a New York Times blogger.

Upon closer examination, the reality may not be as black-and-white as the headlines. Read more

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If you’re wondering about the little fellow in the picture…he’s a gibbon orhpaned by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. More on him and the experience of volunteering at Diary of The Recovery Effort.