Full control of Chinese government puts Christian churches in peril
A pastor in Taiyuan has been ordered to teach Christians the works of Marx and Xi Jinping, and the official documents of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The Two National Christian Councils of Taiyuan city arranged a symposium for the Three-Self Church on 26 April. Since establishing this united Protestant organisation in 1954, the CCP has controlled it with a clear goal: to penetrate churches with communist symbols and ideology and completely destroy religion.
The Municipal Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau provided the pastors with a document called “Work Plan on Carrying out the Party, Country, Rule of Law’ Study and Education Activities in the City’s Ethnic and Religious Circles”. The document outlined the priorities of the church for the second quarter of 2023, set by the CCP. The focus is to “implement the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China”; teach parishioners to “always follow the Party”; and study the works of president Xi Jinping. The president emphasized that “it is necessary to cultivate a team of party and government cadres who are proficient in Marxist religious views, familiar with religious work, and good at working with religious believers, and let them study Marxist religious views, the CCP’s religious work theories and policies, and religious knowledge”.
In practice this means that Christians must stop singing hymns praising God at the start of their gatherings and must sing songs praising the Party instead. All churches must hang the national flag, display signboards of core socialist values and sing the national anthem.
There are five government-controlled religious bodies in China, all of which are requested to develop a religious theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics. They are banned from interfering with social life and the education of the younger generations. Since his announcement of a more severe crackdown on religion in 2016, president Xi has followed a plan to wipe out Christianity and replace God with Marxist ideology.