No Christianity Please … We are China! By James Reed
As China’s power grows, so does its persecution drive. Christians are a good target.
“Chinese communist authorities have ordered poor Christian villagers to remove Christian images from their homes and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping or risk losing their welfare benefits.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued its program of “Sinicization” of religion by channeling religious fervor in the country toward the Party rather than God, the Christian Post reported this weekend.
In May, an official in the eastern province of Shandong raided the home of a local Christian and hung pictures of Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping on the wall in place of Christian images. “These are the greatest gods. If you want to worship somebody, they are the ones,” the official told them. This year, China’s “social credit system” was scheduled to become fully functional, assigning points to each individual based on how much the Communist Party approves of them and using their rating to control their behavior and access to certain benefits.. “There are fears that China’s new ‘social credit system’ – designed to reward good citizenship and punish bad – will be used to discriminate against Christians,” wrote the Catholic charity organization Aid to the Church in Need in a 2019 report. The fears are tied to “cash rewards for those who inform on underground churches and other ‘unofficial’ places of worship,” indicating that the government might also reward the persecution of Christians with high “social credit” scores. According to the religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter, the CCP is now using state welfare benefits as leverage to coerce people into worshiping the Party rather than Jesus. In April, for instance, party officials visited the homes of Christians in Linfen, in the northern province of Shanxi, ordering those who receive welfare payments from the government to remove crosses, Christian symbols, and images in their homes and replace them with portraits of China’s communist leaders. The officials threatened the Christians that non-compliance with the order would result in suspension of their welfare subsidies. “All impoverished households in the town were told to display Mao Zedong images,” a local house church preacher said. “The government is trying to eliminate our belief and wants to become God instead of Jesus.” Officials have often made good on their threats, ruthlessly suspending benefits to Christians who fail to give up their devotions.”
Naturally, China has to oppose the one belief system that really challenges its fundamental assumptions, Christianity, but we will see. It is early days yet, and Chinese civilisation has fallen before. God has all eternity.