Robinson Crusoe among books purged of Christian references in China crackdown on children’s classics

China has stripped literary children’s classics in elementary school textbooks of all references to Christianity, replacing “God” and “Bible,” with secular terms, such as “good heaven” and “several books.”  

The story of Daniel Defoe’s swashbuckling traveller Robinson Crusoe reads “several Portuguese books,” rather than “the Bible and prayer books.”

A line in The Little Match Girl, whose title character sells matchbooks in the wintry cold, by Hans Christian Andersen, now says: “When a star falls, a person will leave the world,” altering the latter half of the sentence, which previously read, “the spirit resides with God.”

And in Anton Chekhov’s short story, Vanka, about a child shoemaker apprentice,…

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