Chinese Christians told to replace Christ with Mao

Chinese Christians receiving government assistance have been told to replace Christ with Mao or risk losing their welfare payments.

Compliance includes replacing all religious symbols in their homes with pictures of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping.

Christians in several provinces have had visits from government officials and had their religious images replaced.

The policy also applies to members of state-run churches. A member of the Three-Self Church, which is the Chinese Communist Party’s official Protestant denomination, says images of Jesus and a religious calendar were taken down from his house and replaced with images of Chairman Mao.

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, increasing numbers of people are relying on government payments to stay financially afloat. At the same time, the government has overseen a renewed crackdown on places of worship.

A preacher from an illegal-but-tolerated house church says the government is “trying to eliminate our belief and wants to become God instead of Jesus.”

In one province which has seen multiple reports of Christian persecution in the last year, a Christian reported that his disability payment was revoked because of his attendance at church.

His wife says he was told they would be “treated as anti-Party elements” if they did not stop going to church.

An elderly member of the Three-Self Church says she lost her government aid after she said “Thank God” upon receiving a subsidy payment.

“They expected me to praise the kindness of the Communist Party instead,” she reported.

In April, another elderly woman said her minimum living allowance was canceled when officials discovered a cross on her house’s door. The woman, who is a diabetic and needs frequent injections, lost all government aid due to her religious beliefs.

A Christian man told media that in China Mao and Xi Jinping were the “greatest Gods.”

“If you want to worship somebody, they are the ones,” an official told him.

Since 2015, the Communist government has pushed forward with a program of “sinicization” of religion.

Regular reports of churches being demolished, priests and bishops being harassed and arrested, and strict censorship being imposed on religious teaching continue to emerge from the country.

In some cases Chinese Christians  were made to remove displays of the ten commandments from their churches and replace them with sayings of President Xi.

At present between 900,000 and 1.8 million mostly-Muslim Uyghurs are estimated to be in more than 1,300 detention camps set up by Chinese authorities, ostensibly for “re-education” purposes.

Survivors have reported indoctrination, beatings, forced labor, forced abortions and sterilizations and torture in the camps.


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