Christians in China have been warned to remove images of Jesus Christ from their walls and replace them with Xi Jinping’s portraits which government officials said, have the powers to eliminate poverty and cure people of sickness and diseases.
According to a report from ANI, Christians in Yugan county received the piece of advice from local officials who told them that only the Communist Party can change their lives, not God or His son Jesus Christ.
Thousands of Christians were urged to discard all images of Christ and decorate their homes and churches with charming images of Chinese president Xi Jinping, who they said, has the sole power to drag them out of misery.
Yugan county is located on the edge of Poyang, China’s largest freshwater lake, but is famed for its untold backwardness.
Fortunately for the inhabitants, they found peace with their fate in God.
The impoverished county in a location in Jiangxi province, China, which boasts of the largest number of Christians in the country.
About 11% of the total 1 million residents live below the country’s official poverty line and nearly 10% are Christians, according to an survey cited by South China Morning Post.
The Washington Post reported that a social media account in Yugan county confirmed some villagers “willingly” adhered to the given instructions and replaced Christ’s images with portraits of Xi.
A total of 624 posters with Christian religious verses and images were pulled down and replaced with 453 images of the Chinese president.
There are speculations that the socio-political move, although still its primary phase, has underpinnings to a growing personality cult built around China’s first Communist leader, Mao Zedong, whose picture is found in almost every home, office and business establishments.
Media reports say the current campaign against Jesus Christ was carried out by a team of poverty alleviation officials who are also staunch members of the Communist Party of China.
The government officials based their “convincing” arguments on how Xi’s leadership is helping to eliminate poverty by offering support and financial grants to farmers.
Image: President Xi Jinping
CPC says one of its 2020 objectives is to end poverty in all its ramifications. And the government officials revealed their top priority is to help the party maintain Chairman Mao’s political legacy, as well as consolidate CPC’s control over other “insignificant” members of the society.
A total of 1,000 Xi Jinping’s portraits were distributed to all households in Yugan county and beyond.
A community/party chieftain who spoke with reporters said the campaign to eliminate poverty started earlier in March.
In his words, ‘I am Qi Yan, the chairman of the Huangjinbu people’s congress and the person-in-charge of the township’s poverty-relief drive which kicked off in March this year. The campaign is focused on explaining to the Christian community how CPC has painstakingly reduced poverty among the populace.’
Qi continued, ‘President Xi is very much concerned about their progress…many of these people are falling sick and dying because of poverty. Some of them believe in Jesus to cure their illnesses even at the point of death. This is ignorance.
‘Many poor households are beginning to understand and agree that there only hope is the Communist party…getting sick is a physical thing, not spiritual.
‘They should rely only on the party and its General Secretary Xi,’ according to the report from SCMP.
‘How can one ignorantly think that God is his savior?’ Qi said. ‘Each one of them will realize their mistakes when our officials complete their desensitizing project. No one should rely on Jesus; they only need help from the Communist Party.’
Villagers in Yugan county reported hung all 1,000 portraits of Xi on their walls with more help expected. Critics believe this is one of the government’s many moves against Christians.
“Help turn those who believe in religions into believing in the Party” pic.twitter.com/dKXnmX1KK8
— Yaqiu Wang (@Yaqiu) November 13, 2017