China: Communists Force Christians to Replace Images of Christ With Pictures of Mao, Xi Jinping

January 25, 2019

On June 11, 1900, the Boxer rebels in China turned with brutal fury upon the small Orthodox Christian community in China, demanding that they renounce their faith in Christ and embrace Buddhism. Father Metrophanes Chi Sung refused and was savagely mutilated, which he endured with serene faith in Christ. Others met their fate in the same way. The Holy New Martyrs of China give an example of the faith that the Christians of China are again being called to have. The Chinese government’s demand that images of Christ be replaced with images of Chinese leaders can never be obeyed by the Orthodox, who revere and cherish holy icons of the Lord, His Mother, and the saints and martyrs. Please pray that this persecution ends quickly, and that the Orthodox Christians of China, and all the Christians there, will be strengthened and encouraged by the prayers and example of the Holy New Martyrs of China.

“Chinese Communists Force Christians to Replace Jesus Pictures With Images of Mao, Xi Jinping,” by Michael W. Chapman, CNS News, January 24, 2019:

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to harass and persecute Christians and, in recent months, has taken to removing pictures of Jesus Christ from inside homes and replacing them with pictures of dictator Mao Zedong and/or China’s current authoritarian president, Xi Jinping.

In addition, Communist officials have removed Christian symbols and phrases on the outside of homes and replaced them with phrases praising socialist materialism.

As the religious liberty and Chinese human rights magazine Bitter Winter and CBN News have reported, government officials in Xiayi county in the Henan Province have warned, “Anyone who hangs up portraits of Jesus or pictures of crosses has to tear them down and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and Xi Jinping. This is the policy of the Central Committee.”

This also applies to pictures of the Christian cross and other Christian symbols. “As villagers from Xiayi county said, officials in groups of three and four have been going from house to house conducting inspections and removing any religious paraphernalia found,” reported Bitter Winter.

CCP officials barged into a home in October and demanded that an 80-year-old man replace a picture of a Cross with pictures of 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 man, Fei Zhongju (a pseudonym), did as he was told but fell off the table and injured himself when he was changing the pictures. Fei’s wife told Bitter Winter, “What have we believers in the Lord done wrong? The government is forcing us to tear up portraits of the Lord Jesus, and as a result, my husband was injured.”

In September, as reported, CCP officials ordered a government worker to go “home to home” and remove the religious symbols on the houses’ gates.

Approximately “1,400 Christian items have been reportedly destroyed in households all across the townships of Xiayi county since early February 2018,” said Bitter Winter….