Chinese textbook’s Bible story prompts unholy backlash

The Financial Times is reporting that the Bible has become the latest target of anti-western rhetoric in China after a backlash over a textbook that included passages from the Book of Genesis. 

The spat comes on the heels of last year’s edict from the minister of education that western ideas had no place in Chinese textbooks. Last month a group of professors called on the government to include more Marxist economics in place of western economics in university courses.

The writers of the secondary-school book defended their inclusion of the Bible, saying they wanted to broaden students’ understanding of mythology by including a famous western tale, according to an interview in the Beijing Youth Daily, a state-run newspaper. 

In a Weibo poll, 60 per cent of respondents agreed that “the Bible is not just a western text — religion has no place in textbooks”, while 15 per cent believed that “rather than western culture, textbooks should promote more Chinese traditional culture”.

The chapter first appeared in textbooks compiled by the Beijing Academy of Educational Science (BAES) in 2002 but at the end of 2015 the decision was made to remove it from future editions, starting from autumn 2016. BAES could not be reached for comment.

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