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The Chinese government is supervising a 5 year plan to make Christianity more compatible with socialism including “rewriting” the Bible, the Rev. Bob Fu, a former Chinese house church leader and the founder of the persecution watchdog organization China Aid has told the US Congress. As China’s crackdown on religion has seen many house churches demolished and thousands of crosses removed from churches nationwide, Fu warned that what is happening now in China represents the highest degree of persecution for independent faith groups the country has seen in decades.

“Religious freedom in China is at the worst level since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution by Chairman Mao” Fu told members of Congress. At the centre of the persecution is China’s new regulation on religious affairs.  According to Fu, the revision of the regulations are to actively guide religion to “adapt to socialist society.” Under the new regulations religious groups will “be guided and supervised by the local people’s government.”  In order to comply with the regulations, the Three Self Patriotic Movement and the Chinese Christian Council (China’s state-sanctioned Protestant bodies) have developed a 5 year plan on “promoting the Sinicization of Christianity.”

The plan proposes “implementing socialist core values by “retranslating” the Old Testament with some Buddhist scripture and Confucian teachings and adding 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. Fu said, “The new Bible must not look westernized and reflect Chinese ethics of Confucianism and socialism,” Fu said. Fu added that the 5 year plan advocates for “incorporating Chinese elements into church worship services and clergy attire.

This includes publishing worship songs with Chinese characteristics and promoting the Sinicization of worship music, using uniquely Chinese art forms, such as Chinese painting and calligraphy to express the Christian faith,'” he said. “It’s also encouraging churches to blend in with Chinese architecture.” Fu said that churches that have crosses 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 are going door-to-door trying to get Christians to sign a statement renouncing their Christian faith claiming they were misled by evangelists into believing Christianity. In some provinces, they have even banned children from going to church. Fu said there is also a plan to shut down about two-thirds of the state-sanctioned churches in China in an effort to merge them. State officials have also urged 20,000 house churches to close and join state-sanctioned churches, according to Fu. Fu said clergy have been forced to go through an examination to ensure their loyalty is to party before God.

Slogans are being hung around churches, even Catholic churches, on the walls and doors saying ‘Listen to the words of the party, follow the path of the party.’ How can you have your own faith as believers? As Christians we are taught to listen and obey the commands of the Lord. Essentially, the communist party wants to impose themselves as Lord over the church.” Fu said that according to the former chairman of the TSPM, they believe the “doctrine of justification of faith by Jesus Christ is too narrow.” Hundreds of Christian Chinese leaders have signed a statement condemning the new regulations and the control the party is taking over the churches.

Source: The Christian Post