Letters of the week

To the editor:

Re: "Chinese consulate urged mayor to boycott show," Dec. 28.

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Apart from the flagrant attempts to influence Canadian politicians by the Chinese Communist Party, I'd like to draw attention to another aspect of the article.

Using artistic expression to share spiritual belief has been common since the dawn of history. Christianity inspired most of the great art of the West, such as the world famous painting of the Sistine Chapel to give one example. I am sure many of us enjoyed the masterpieces of Handel (The Messiah) and Schubert (Ave Maria). Such are the riches bequeathed to a multifaceted society that offers freedom of belief.

Before the Chinese Communist Party violently enforced its own state religion of atheism upon the Chinese people, there was a rich spiritual environment of Buddhism and Taoism. The CCP's Cultural Revolution saw the mass destruction of monasteries and temples, and the public humiliation, torture and murder of monks, nuns and other spiritual believers. Unfortunately, these barbaric practises have not gotten any better in the 21st century as witnessed by the violent suppression of Falun Gong practitioners, Christian house leader Weigers and Tibetans, plus any Chinese people of conscience who would support them. Using the power of art to expose persecution has been used by many valiant causes, many of which have been supported by Amnesty International.

The mission of Shen Yun is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture. After more than 60 years of Communist rule in China, however, Shen Yun is showing that the deeper spiritual core of the ancient Chinese culture, with its values of benevolence, honour, propriety, wisdom and sincerity, as well as a reverence for the gods and the heavens, cannot be destroyed.

Sophia Bronwen, Vancouver

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