China: Government Official Asks Church to Remove First Commandment

January 6, 2019

This is extremely serious. While so far Chinese officials have mostly focused their persecution on evangelical Protestant churches, there is no Christian group that does not accept the Ten Commandments, and thus any Christians in China could suddenly be faced with the same demand.

The Chinese Orthodox Church is also in a precarious position, as it is not one of the Christian groups recognized by the Chinese government. Although Holy Orthodoxy has a three-hundred year history in China, with the first Orthodox Christians coming into the country in 1685, Orthodox Christians in China are vulnerable to the pressure detailed in this article.

The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, continues to request that the Chinese government not only grant official recognition to the Chinese Orthodox Church, but also give full religious freedom to all Chinese Christians.

“Church Asked to Remove First Commandment By Chinese Official in Henan,” International Christian Concern, January 5, 2019:

Authorities in Henan Province’s Luoning county ordered a government-approved Three-Self church to remove one commandment from the venerable Decalogue or Ten Commandments, reports Bitter Winter Magazine.

Members of the church told the magazine that on November 1, about 30 officials from the central “patrol inspection team” for religious supervision and from the Luoyang city and Luoning county United Front Work Department, arrived at the church in Dongcun village to conduct an inspection.

An official inspected the church thoroughly, stopped in front of the pulpit, and pointed to one of the Ten Commandments displayed on the wall. “This must be removed,” he said. After hearing such comment, the government officials immediately wiped off the Commandment.

People from the church strongly opposed the removal of “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” commandment. One believer protested, “This isn’t appropriate. They’re falsifying the words of God! It’s resisting the Lord!”

An official rebuked them by saying “Xi Jinping opposes this statement. Who dares not to cooperate? If anyone doesn’t agree, they are fighting against the country.” He added, “This is a national policy. You should have a clear understanding of the situation. Don’t go against the government.”…