Stores are also not allowed to put up posters or banners advertising sales, and outdoor performances to celebrate the holiday are also prohibited.
Officials are also appealing for the public to report anyone “spreading religion” in parks or squares, the news outlet reported. It did not say if authorities were targeting the Christian faith specifically or all religions.
The city’s urban management bureau claims the ban is in place to help maintain a clean city environment for an upcoming awards competition.
An employee at the bureau, who refused to be identified, told the Communist Party-run paper The Global Times the crackdown was being made in order to maintain a “clean environment” to be able to pass the annual rating of “National Civilized Cities” that’s presented every three years, Fox News reported.
This isn’t the first excuse China has used to ban Christmas. Just last year some of it’s more communist faithful cities banned Christmas and suggested, more like demanded, children celebrate a chairman instead. Take a look:
Some News outlets have called it a war on Christianity pointing reporting that the Chinese police have launched a Christmas crackdown against Christians — arresting a prominent pastor, raiding churches and charging followers with ‘subverting the state’.
It’s all part of an effort to bring the religion under Chinese Communist Party control. While the party itself is officially atheist, it allows believers to attend state-sanctioned places of worship run by approved priests.
There are some 100 million Christians in China. Many worship in ‘home’ churches to avoid state interference.
In one example of the recent raids, police on Saturday stormed a children’s bible class in Guangzhou. Children are banned from attending places of worship.
In Guangzhou, 60 police stormed a church, seized religious materials and confiscated the mobile phones of worshippers.
And earlier, a prominent Sichuan pastor was arrested. His crime was openly preaching to his 800 followers, and circulating a petition against the government’s push to clamp down on religion.
Last November, a faithful Catholic bishop was kidnapped following the Pope Francis-approved Vatican-China deal, which gave the Chinese communist government a prominent role in the selection of bishops while encouraging the underground Catholic church to join the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA).
It was the fifth kidnapping of Pietro Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou since he was appointed a bishop in 2016. He was “coerced to submit to the religious policy of China, which requires registration with the government and membership of the Patriotic Association (PA),” according to The Daily Wire.
The Chinese government’s persecution of the Catholic Church has remained in “full effect” since the Vatican signed the deal that many faithful Catholics in China denounced as a betrayal.