As the popularity of Christianity continues to grow in China, threatening the all-powerful rule of the Communist government, a new state translation of the Bible will establish a “correct understanding” of the text.
As the Communist Party arrests Christian pastors, vandalizes or destroys Christians churches, and demands control over Christian leaders, the Chinese government is also altering Christian scripture to suit its tastes and create communist propaganda.
“So far, it is (1) no longer possible to buy a copy of the Bible online [in China], (2) existing copies of the Bible are being confiscated whenever the authorities come across them, and (3) there are new versions of all sacred texts – Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, etc. – that reinforce Communist ideology in the making,” said Stephen Mosher, author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream Is the New Threat to World Order.”
The Rev. Bob Fu, a former Chinese church leader who immigrated to the US in 1997 and founded the persecution watchdog organization China Aid, provided great detail during a House hearing about a plan being rolled out by the government in China to change “Christianity in China” into “Chinese Christianity.”
China’s crackdown on Christianity has seen many house churches demolished and thousands of crosses removed from churches nationwide, and Fu warned that what is happening right now in China represents the highest degree of persecution for independent faith groups the country has seen in decades.
Wang Yi, pastor of the Early Rain church, was arrested and detained three months ago, along with his wife.
“Religious freedom in China has really reached to the worst level that has not been seen since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution by Chairman Mao [Zedong] in the 1960s,” he told members of the House Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.
ChristianPost reports: At the center of this new level of persecution is China’s new regulation on religious affairs that was released in 2017 but enacted in February last year.
According to Fu, the revision of the religious regulations are solely designed to actively twist Christianity into a force that makes Christians “adapt to socialist society.“
Fu said that in order to comply with the new religious regulations, the Three Self Patriotic Movement and the Chinese Christian Council (China’s state-sanctioned Protestant bodies) have developed a five-year plan on “promoting the Sinicization of Christianity.”
One way in which they plan to Sinicize Christianity, Fu said, is by “retranslating” the Old Testament and providing new commentary to the New Testament to make socialist ideals and Chinese culture seem more divine.
“The plan made it clear that ‘Sinicization of Christianity’ means to change ‘Christianity in China’ into ‘Chinese Christianity,‘” he explained. “[The plan] emphasized that ‘the heart and soul of Christianity’s Sinicization is to Sincize the Christian theology,’ and even proposing to ‘re-translate the Bible or re-write biblical commentaries.'”
According to its latest outline, Fu said, a retranslation would be a summary of the Old Testament with some Buddhist scripture and Confucian teachings and new commentary for the New Testament.
“The Old Testament will be messed up. The New Testament will have new commentaries to interpret it.“
Catholics wait to take communion during the Palm Sunday mass at a ‘house church’ near Shijiazhuang.
Fu said that while over 4,000 to 6,000 crosses of state-sanctioned churches have been torn down, churches that have crucifixes on the inside must “put up pictures of Chairman Mao and Chairman Xi [Jinping] on both sides of the cross.“
“In the beginning of every church worship service, the choir of the church has to sing a few communist revolutionary songs praising the communist party before they can sing the worship songs,” he detailed.
There have been reports that state officials have gone door-to-door trying to get Christians to sign a statement renouncing their Christian faith.
“For first time since cultural revolution, the communist party is now implementing a policy to mandate the Chinese faithful citizens to sign a form to renounce their faith,” he said. “We have produced documentation showing [government officials] going door-to-door to force believers to sign a prepared form claiming that these believers were misled by evangelists into believing Christianity. Now, after a few weeks of self-examination and political studies, they have realized they made a mistake. This has not happened in the past.”
In some provinces, they have even banned children from going to church