The Chinese government continues its efforts to transform Christianity into a tool of the state. The selections highlighted in this bookstore is the result of a long campaign by the government to empty Christianity of its content and replace it with worship of the state and its leaders, creating a new pseudo-Christianity that advances the goals of the Communist Party. This threatens all the Christians of the country, including the tiny community of Orthodox Christians in China.
The bookstore would almost certainly face punitive action if the Communist leaders’ books were not featured. China offers yet another instance of the persecution of Christians by governing officials that is unfortunately on the increase not only in China, but in all too many other nations around the world.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in China, see here.
“Guangzhou Christian bookstore displays The Governance of China by Xi Jinping, as well as the CCPs ‘Little Red Book,'” China Aid, May 5, 2021:
(Guangzhou, Guangdong Province—May 05, 2021) The bookstore of Sha Mian Tang Church, a well-known Christian church in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, displayed a large number of the book, The Governance of China, written by Xi Jinping, as well as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s “Little Red Book.” Sha Mian Tang’s gospel bookstore, however, did not display any collections of gospel books.
On Sunday, April 11, Yu Jie, a Chinese American author (Mongolian descent) posted on Facebook “The gospel bookstore of Guangzhou Christian Church—Shamian Church, displayed a large number of Xi Jinping’s books. Seeing this kind of photo on Sunday morning really shocked me.”
The picture of Shamian Christian Church’s bookstore revealed that someone had prominently positioned The Governance of China and other “red” publicity works in the most noticeable sections of the store’s three bookshelves. Red, a symbolic color, marks the CCP’s Revolution, the Left, Socialism, and Communism.
The Governance of China features a collection of Xi Jinping’s reports, speeches, conversations, instructions, and congratulatory letters, collected from the beginning of his regime. CCP professionals, not President Xi, wrote and organized the collection thematically. These annotated volumes of collections also include photos of Xi Jinping during his tenure as China’s ruler.
The CCP’s central publicity department, the Communist Party organization, along with other departments have ordered all regions and departments to sternly implement as well as carry out the instructions and knowledge acquired from “President “Xi.” All levels of the Party’s organizations, Party committees, Party schools, Cadre Schools, and media departments must develop seminars and educational activities. To further promote education among all Chinese citizens, an official saying evolved: allow knowledge to “fly into the ordinary/common people’s homes” (from an old Chinese poem).
According to reports, the Party’s Administration for Religious Affairs organized Christians to study The Governance of China. Jiangsu Nantong Christian Church had organized church pastors/leaders to learn information in this book. Each of those who participated in the study needed to speak about their own learning experience. The report stated: “Everyone unanimously agrees to run Nantong’s Church well. It is imperative to learn General Secretary Xi Jinping’s speeches.” The Zhongshan Ethnic and Religious Bureau of Guangdong Province also organized for those in the religious sector to study The Governance of China and insisted that they host workshops/seminars on Sinicization of religion in China.
In some provinces, such as with the Jiangxi Catholic Church, CCP authorities have removed icons and crosses to replace them with a portrait of Party’s General Secretary, Xi Jinping’s—right in the middle of the church. Ironically, this church’s library does not even own a Bible— but has filled shelves with the works of Xi Jinping.
The CCP forced the church to accept the official socialist core values, going as far as attempting to control and influence the thoughts of Christian citizens through the means noted, and to bring the Christian church in as a subordinate group under the CCP. Due to the profoundness of Christian doctrines and traditions, many Christian churches have refused to blindly follow this protocol. Nevertheless, in response to the government’s forceful actions, some churches have superficial followed official instructions. Simultaneously, many religious personnel holding positions in official churches have chosen to give in to those demands.
David Meng, a visiting scholar in the US, and a pro-democracy activist, has closely monitored Chinese religious law and policies. He said regarding this issue:
China has a saying “birds of a feather flock together,” and in the Bible, it states “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” In today’s China, the Christian Church’s bookstores are filled with books “written” by the Party’s leader Xi Jinping and other Communist China’s red ideology books. This is the typical “Dove occupying a magpie’s nest.”…