Pastors in China's Three-Self Churches were ordered to adjust their sermons to include parts of a speech made by President Xi Jinping on July 1, celebrating the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Bitter Winter reports that members of the government-controlled Protestant church, known as the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, and the China Christian Council met during a conference to discuss how pastors could integrate elements of Xi's speech into their lectures and Bible study groups.
Wu Wei, chairman of China Christian Council, said pastors should focus on the fact that "the Chinese Communist Party has never changed its original intention to put the people first, establish an extensive patriotic united front, unite the citizens' hearts, gather strength, and continue to explore and innovate."
Wei added that pastors should also direct Christians in "thanking God for putting us in this great era" and "continuing to learn the spirit of General Secretary Xi's speech."
Sermon's should include the following components from Xi's speech:
- Xi and the CCP recognize the renewal of the Chinese nation.
- Christians should routinely say "Long live the great, glorious, and correct Chinese Communist Party! Long live the great, glorious, and heroic Chinese people!"
- The roots and blood of the CCP are in the people. It is the people's own party.
- The CCP has accomplished "four great achievements": a Socialist revolution, the construction of a Socialist society under Chairman Mao, a Socialist reform under Deng Xiaoping, and a Socialism with Chinese characteristics under Xi Jinping.
- Under President Xi, the CCP has developed the "five civilizations" of material, political, spiritual, social, and economical.
- The CCP has brought "six common values" to the people including peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom.
- Christians should trust the CCP because it has over 70 years of experience in successfully ruling the country.
- Like the CCP, Christians should tell foreign hostile powers that "the era when the Chinese nation was slaughtered and bullied is gone forever!"
- Christians should advocate for the leaders of the CCP as "only Socialism can save China."
As CBN News has previously reported, the Chinese government has ramped up extreme measures over the last few years to crack down on religious groups in the country.
President Xi has ordered that all religions must "Sinicize" to ensure they are loyal to the officially atheistic party. China's Christians say it is the worst persecution against them since Chairman Mao Zedong.
The Chinese government also continues to take steps toward removing religious materials from the hands of Christians as the Communist regime strives to eliminate the faith community.
As CBN News reported in May, the communist government has taken Christian WeChat accounts offline.
Users received the following message when they attempt to gain access:
"(We) received report that (this account) violates the 'Internet User Public Account Information Services Management Provisions' and its account has been blocked and suspended."
Additionally, Bible Apps have been eliminated from China's App Store and hard copy versions are no longer able to be purchased online.
Last year, hundreds of crosses were removed from church buildings in just one province over a period of four months.
A government official in the eastern province of Shandong barged into the home of a Christian and posted portraits of Zedong and Xi, then said, "These are the greatest gods. If you want to worship somebody, they are the ones."
The CCP has even gone as far as indoctrinating children by telling them that Christianity is a dark religion.
China is ranked 17th on Open Doors' 2021 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.