China’s Communist Party is continuing its assault on the country’s Christians, making it more dangerous to profess faith in Christ there.
According to Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights in China, Chinese officials are forcing their way into Christian homes and replacing Christian symbols with posters of Mao Ze Dong and President Xi Jinping.
In October, Chinese officials entered the home of an elderly Christian man living in Xiayi County. They ordered him to take down a picture of the cross and replace them with Mao and Xi Jinping.
“If we come back for inspection and find that you haven’t put up Chairman Mao’s portrait, we’ll cancel your poverty alleviation benefits,” the officials said.
The elderly man reportedly climbed on top of a table to replace the cross with the posters. He slipped, fell, and seriously injured himself.
“What have we believers in the Lord done wrong?” his wife told the magazine. “The government is forcing us to tear up portraits of the Lord Jesus, and as a result, my husband was injured.”
Another family’s home had “God loved the world,” inscribed above a gate on their property. The government forced them to change the quote from John 3:16 to “Family harmony leads to thousand-fold prosperity.”
Bitter Winter reports that approximately 1,400 Christian items have been destroyed or replaced in Xiayi county since February 2018.
The government is doing more than simply destroying religious symbols. It recently ordered a church to remove the first of the Ten Commandments because it conflicts with Communist ideology.
The First Commandment reads: “You shall have no other gods before me, says the Lord.”
A government official said President Xi Jinping disagrees.
“Xi Jinping opposes this statement,” one official said. “Who dares not to cooperate? If anyone doesn’t agree, they are fighting against the country.”
“This is a national policy,” he continued. “You should have a clear understanding of the situation. Don’t go against the government.”
Chinese officials are also raiding major churches and imprisoning pastors.