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China instructs Bible to be rewritten as pro-communist: report

President of China Xi Jinping. (Kremlin/Released)
December 23, 2019

The Chinese Communist Party instructed the Bible and other religious texts to be rewritten in an expressly pro-communist perspective that conforms with the party’s goals.

In November, a group of 16 different experts and religious representatives were called on to attend a meeting of the Chinese Committee for Ethnic and Religious Affairs of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.  Those religious leaders were then instructed to review their religious texts and reinterpret them to conform with the values of the country’s communist party doctrine, according to the Daily Mail.

Wang Yang, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, reportedly told the gathered religious leaders they must interpret their religious views in their texts to meet the instructions of Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping and fulfill “the requirements of the era.”

Those selected religious officials reportedly agreed with instructions of the Chinese ruling Communist Party and agreed to undertake the effort to review and amend or re-translate their various religious texts.

The religious leaders reportedly said their efforts would help prevent “extreme thoughts” and “heretical ideas” from undermining China.

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News of the new religious requirements follows reports of other Chinese efforts to crackdown on various faith groups in recent years; including the detainment of nearly 2 million minority Uyghur’s, held in concentration camps in the Xinjiang region. China has denied the existence of the camps and reportedly described facilities as “boarding schools” to provide job training and discourage radicalization.

China has also arrested various religious leaders like Pastor Wang Yi, and have instated bans preventing other religious leaders from attending religious conferences abroad.

In a recent move, Chinese officials in the eastern province of Jiangxi ordered a Catholic church to remove a painting of the Virgin Mary and her baby, Jesus Christ, and replaced it with an image of Chairman Xi. They were also told to hang Chinese flags and pro-communist party slogans throughout the church.

In addition, the church was instructed to remove its name from public display and instead to hang a banner that reads: “Follow the party, thank the party, obey the party.”

Authorities also reportedly threatened older members of that Catholic church and warned that they could lose their pensions if they continued worshipping at the church.

Chinese authorities have reportedly told Catholic churches that have not joined the government-backed Patriotic Catholic Association that they would be labeled as a cult. Such a designation would reportedly subject them to further persecution.