China Orders Christians to Use Religion for Spreading 'Communist Party Principles'
Chinese government demands churches replace images and quotes of Christianity
China has ordered Christian churches to remove religious quotes and imagery and replace them with those of the Chinese government to "spread Communist Party principles," according to reports.
The new draconian rules for religious groups are set to go into place across China and will require that they use their religion to help promote the ruling Communist Party.
The new laws were promulgated on December 30 by the totalitarian Chinese government.
Under the new rules, virtually all aspects of religious life will be placed under the control of the Communist Party.
The “administrative measures” consist of six chapters and 41 articles dictating the “organization, functions, supervision and management of religious groups.”
The Chinese government would govern all religions' activity, including religious doctrine, annual and daily activities, and rallies.
The new rules go into force on February 1 and come as part of a growing crackdown by Chinese communists on religion, according to Life Site News.
For example, about 1 million Muslim Uighur people are being kept in re-education camps, where some have been subjected to torture.
Christian churches have been razed by authorities, who have curtailed the independence of Christian ministers.
Two million Christians and Buddhists are being kept in detention.
Jewish communities have also been harassed.
In concert with the government’s policy of “sinicization,” which is intended to underscore Chinese culture and socialist polity, the new rules reinforce policies announced in 2017 to reinterpret Christian teachings according to socialist doctrine.
Besides its persecution of Christian and Muslim believers for supposedly foreign doctrines in its war on religion, China has mercilessly pursued members of the native-born spiritualist Falun Gong movement for more than 20 years.
According to Radio Free Asia, churches in Hunan province were forced last year to remove displays of the Ten Commandments and replace them with quotes of President Xi Jinping.
Likewise, churches in Jiangxi province were ordered to remove biblical paintings and crosses and replace them with portraits of the president.
In some areas, all public displays of Christmas decorations have been banned.
In addition, party officials have been told that celebrating the feast is contrary to CCP teachings.
In December, Christians belonging to “house churches” not recognized by the government were ordered to refrain from publicly celebrating Christmas.
A Protestant pastor in Shandong, where previous celebrations had drawn thousands of worshipers, said, “We are afraid to meet in public [because such meetings] have been designated illegal gatherings.”
Identified solely as John, the pastor said, “We can’t do Christmas this year.
"We can’t have any activities on Christmas.”
Under the new rules, all religious organizations will be required to obey and promote Communist Party values and China’s President Xi Jinping.
Churches will be expected to “spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party” and indoctrinate all “religious staff and religious citizens to support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.”
According to Asia News (linked above), a Chinese Catholic priest observed: “In practice, your religion no longer matters, if you are Buddhist, or Taoist, or Muslim or Christian: the only religion allowed is faith in the Chinese Communist Party [CCP].”
According to the new rules, all churches and religious organizations must adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party and “to the directives on religions in China, implementing the values of socialism.”
Article 17 directs: “Religious organizations must spread the principles and policies of the CCP, as well as national laws, regulations, rules to religious personnel and religious citizens, educating religious personnel and religious citizens to support the leadership of the CCP, supporting the socialist system, adhering to and following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
Religious organizations must submit all decisions for approval by Communist Party officials.
According to the rules, local religious affairs offices serve as the “administrative bodies” for all religious organizations, controlling them through “guidance and supervision.”
China is home to a growing community of 68 million Protestants.
There are also approximately 3.3 million Catholics, with another 5.7 million who consider themselves Catholics but belong to the schismatic state-sponsored Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA).