Marking the birthday of the late leader, offers of incense, fruit, paper money to the statues of Mao, decorated like a Buddhist or Taoist deity. 40 thousand attend December 26 vigil in Shaoshan, birthplace of the Great Helmsman.
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Shaoshan (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Mao Zedong, who tried to destroy religion in his lifetime, is now worshiped like a god. Especially in Hunan, the province where he came from, Buddhist and Taoist temples often have a statue of the Great Helmsman, covered with yellow cloth (the color of the emperor and the Buddha), where incense, fruit, paper money (false) are offered as if to a god or the spirit of an ancestor.
According to Radio Free Asia there some wealthy people have even turned one room of their home into “private chapel”, occupied by a statue of Mao.
This veneration of the statues of Mao and his mausoleum in Tiananmen Square in Beijing are much more evident on his birthday, December 26, the date on which he was born in 1893.
In Shaoshan, his place of birth, at least 40 thousand people came from various parts of the country to take part in a vigil remembering the late president.
The Chinese government maintains an ambivalent position towards Mao’s memory. On the one hand it praises the late leader for having “raised” China to the forefront of all the nations; on the other it has judged at least “30%” of his ideology to be in error, especially with the experience of the Great Leap Forward – under which between 30 and 50 million inhabitants died of hunger – and the Cultural Revolution, when China was wrought by a civil war with purges, executions, battles that have affected millions of people.
In recent decades, before the great gap opened up between rich and poor and rampant corruption in the party, many proletarians extolled Mao and the Maoist period as the golden age of communism, where the current problems were absent, taking advantage of praise for Mao to criticize the current leadership.
In an effort to avoid “the end of the Soviet Union”, Xi Jinping has vetoed any criticism of the past and present of the Communist Party, promoting the revival of “red songs”, the songs of Mao’s time, which extol the great Helmsman and shining successes of China.