Planet China

Mao worship

Mao worship

Where is the reddest place in China? Chongqing has been encouraging the singing of red songs to celebrate the country’s revolutionary heritage. But perhaps it is pipped by Beitou Village, where Maoism has taken on cult status.

Southern Weekly is reporting that the village in Guangdong has now built a temple to Mao Zedong. The Fairy Mother Temple features a bust of Mao, flanked by a praetorian guard of 10 soldiers and a red flag. Almost Rmb80,000 is donated annually by visitors, who burn incense and pray to the founder of the PRC. The idea for the temple came from the elderly in the community, who have grown nostalgic about former times, and felt a shrine to Mao might help curtail local problems with drug abuse.

But the local government is not a fan of the temple, saying Mao didn’t believe in religion or superstition, so it is inappropriate to build a temple to him. Southern Weekly reports that the area’s drug problem was already receding by the time the temple was finished, but villagers still like to pray to the ‘god’ Mao for “child-giving, wealth-seeking and security”.

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