The Devil travels to China

April 19, 2021 (Edward J. Barr) – Sources inform us that while the Devil had an enjoyable time visiting the US in January (see “The Devil came to Mass this weekend”), he returned home to find hell even more tumultuous than normal.  A fierce battle was raging between the guardian demon of China and the guardian demon of the United States (some theologians believe that just as each country has a guardian angel, the Devil has assigned guardian demons to tempt nations to defy the good offered by God). Each tried to tear and rip the putrid flesh from each other while lower-ranking demons chose sides and joined the fray. The Devil smiled at the chaos as the smell of sulfur filled his black lungs. This was what he hoped to accomplish on earth.  Yet he had to be sure his minions were working toward the same goal – the destruction of souls. 

“Why are you maggots fighting among yourselves?  There is still much good on earth to expunge!”  The guardian demon of China spoke first.  “This fool is taking credit for the destruction of the Church in the United States, claiming it is the greatest victory we have achieved in recent years.”  He scowled in the direction of the guardian demon of the United States.  “It is nothing to what I accomplished in China.  I have the largest country in the world under the thumb of an officially atheistic government.  Their abortion numbers dominate the globe!  The guardian demon of the United States quickly interjected.  “That’s right, you already had a government that was so stupid it doesn’t even believe that we exist.  They think this place doesn’t exist.  Any clown could steal such dense souls!  I had a country that claimed it was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and look how they love us!”  He puffed out his half-decomposed chest in pride and scoffed.  “What has he done?”

“I’ll show you,” said the guardian demon of China.  In a blink of an eye, the three demons were at Victoria Park in Hong Kong.  “Look at this.  No protests.  All the prominent Christians are thrown in jail.  I guided the government to crush all dissent, with barely any opposition from other governments or so-called faith leaders.  Plus, look what they’re doing to the Uighurs.  Beautiful.”  The Devil beamed.  “Outstanding work.”  The guardian demon of the United States pointed a bent finger at his counterpart from China.  “Of course, as you said, there was barely any opposition.”  The Devil frowned.  “What about that babbling Cardinal, Zen?  He knew what was going on.”  The demon smiled.  “He’s been marginalized.  I guided the Chinese to cut a deal with the Vatican. They haven’t said anything about the persecution.  The Chinese are good at throwing money around,” said the guardian demon of China.  “The Church barely gives Zen the time of day.  I even heard one of his brother bishops at the Vatican said that the Chinese “best realize the social doctrine” of the Church.”  The Devil was pleased.  If persecution of believers was the social doctrine of the Church, hell had better prepare for a massive influx of new residents.  He relished the hate that could invigorate his dark domain.  “Ha.  Who said you can’t serve God and Mammon,” he chuckled?

The guardian demon of the United States could hold in his fury no longer.  “You idiot.  You are given an easy assignment and brag about policies that would have been enacted without you.  The Chinese have not believed in us for decades.  I had to turn a once Christian nation into a nation of unbelievers.  You have a government that controls everything in the country and won’t allow any freedom.”  The Devil watched as the two demons pared off.  Teeth grinding, foul drops of sweat fell from their bodies.  The Devil laughed as they tore into each other, hurling insults and curses.  Time to feed the fire.  “China does seem to be further along in the destruction of its soul than the United States.  Even those former Christian countries in Europe are more lost than America.”  It’s always good to kick a demon when he’s down, he thought.  The guardian demon of the United States’ head spun around.

“What?” he yelled.  “I did more in my time as the guardian demon of the United States than all the others before me.  Remember how the US was before I took over in the 1960s?  The Devil glared at him.  The demon of the United States was his most cunning underling.  That’s why he gave him the prize country to destroy.   He has been very effective.  Jealousy and envy were good; he was glad to see the demon’s disgust.  The guardian demon of China piled on.  “Great job, fool.  I heard you even allowed a Catholic to get elected president.”  All sound ceased.  An eerie silence permeated Victoria Park.  It seemed as if time froze.  The ground shook violently and shadows fell over Kowloon Bay.  The Devil shot lasers of fire into the demon of the United States.  “A Catholic is president. To hell with you!” he thundered. The demon fell back and didn’t stop.  A faint cry emanated from the abyss.  “Let me explain…” 

Edward J Barr is a Catechist, an attorney, an intelligence officer, a Marine, and a university faculty member. He earned a Master’s degree in theology from the Augustine Institute. Mr. Barr is a contributing writer for the Roma Locuta Est blog (

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