Like many secular entities before it, China’s government appears to believe it can prevent the Gospel from reaching the hearts and minds of nearly 1.4 billion people.
In a recent move designed the stem the religious fervor sweeping across the Asian nation, thousands of devout Christians have been instructed to remove crosses, Gospel passages and displays of Jesus Christ from their homes. The Communist government’s propaganda effort has been touted as a way to “transform believers in religion into believers in the party.”
The Hong Kong-based English language newspaper, South China Morning Post (SCMP), indicates members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) have taken a hands-on approach to combating Christianity by going door to door. In the Yugan county of Jiangxi province, 10 percent of the population has taken Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and the communist officials are coercing residents to take down symbolic gestures about their Faith and replace them with posters of sitting Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping.
Chinese Officials Coerce Villagers
According to SCMP, approximately 600 complied with the government’s pressure by removing Christian displays from their living rooms. The news resource reports that 453 took the further request to hang a poster of Pres. Xi.
China’s propaganda and secular enforcement methods went as far as to point fingers at Christian faith as a primary reason for the region’s excessive poverty rates.
Despite the Communist promise that all will share equally the nation’s wealth, over 11 percent of those living in the Yugan county of Jiangxi province struggle below the poverty line. Of the region’s 1 million residents, approximately 10 percent identified themselves as Christians.
“Many poor households have plunged into poverty because of illness in the family. Some resorted to believing in Jesus to cure their illnesses,” a government propaganda leader reportedly said. “But we tried to tell them that getting ill is a physical thing, and that the people who can really help them are the Communist Party and General Secretary Xi.”
Many poor villagers have reportedly been told in no uncertain terms they would be denied government benefits if they persisted in displaying images of Jesus Christ. The government has denied these allegations despite widespread religious crackdowns.
The Cult of Xi
Pressure was brought to bear on the poor villagers just weeks after the CPC concluded its congress. Pres. Xi sought to consolidate his rein by passing unprecedented measures that would write his personal political positions into China’s constitution.
The move would elevate him to a status on par with the nation’s most heralded leaders. The Hong Kong news resource reported that Xi has become “the country’s most powerful leader since Mao.” Chairman Mao also promoted himself through cult-like methods such as requiring portraits in Chinese homes.
Like Mao, Pres. Xi favors the Chinese tradition of asserting the state as the ultimate power in and over the lives of its citizens. That ominous power has, historically, rooted out social and religious movements. Mao Zedong reportedly had more than 45 million people killed through starvation, hard labor and execution in just four years time to secure his absolute power.
Prior to individual Christians being requested to remove religious symbols, a Yugan church was instructed to take down its cross. Numerous other churches in Zhejiang and other Christian focal points have been ordered to comply with the Communist edicts as well.
China Wants Christianity under its Thumb
Under Pres. Xi, China has implemented tighter anti-Christian measures regarding worship, religious education and buildings. The laws amount to a state-sponsored crackdown on Christianity and will be triggered in 2018. Law enforcement has already begun preemptive detentions of religious leaders and a three-year-old child was accosted for singing His praise in a public park.
The president of ChinaSource, Brent Fulton, points out that the Communist party seeks to control religion through legislation and also by bringing doctrine into line with their values. The secular government gone as far as articulated that “religion serving socialism” may be acceptable. However, Pres. Xi has pushed to make religious texts secondary to the state in what some are calling a “Sinification” of the Bible.
“Judging by recent events, the party is very close to completing its mission of bringing Christianity under its thumb,” Chinese student Derek Lam reportedly told the New York Times. “Although there is nothing I would love more than to become a pastor and preach the gospel in Hong Kong, I will never do so if it means making Jesus subservient to Xi Jinping.”
~ Christian Patriot Daily