Pastors in China were ordered to adjust their sermons to incorporate elements of President Xi Jinping’s speech delivered on July 1, the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the government-controlled Protestant Church, held a national conference with the China Christian Council, which supervises education in the Three-Self churches. The conference’s theme was “Learning and Implementing the Spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Speech of July 1.”
During the conference, pastors were told to integrate Jinping’s speech, which celebrated the CCP’s Marxist roots and threatened the West and Taiwan, into their sermons and Bible study groups.
Wu Wei, Chairman of the Chinese Christian Council, called on pastors to stress 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.”
Additionally, pastors were instructed to lead their congregations in “thanking God for putting us in this great era” and “continuing to learn the spirit of General Secretary Xi’s speech.”
According to Bitter Winter, Three-Self’s leader Xu Xiaohong addressed the conference by providing a model sermon featuring nine points taken from the July 1 speech.
Among the points were instructions for pastors to highlight that the Communist party is the “people’s party,” encourage Christians to trust the CCP because it has “successfully” governed China over the last 70 years, and praise President Xi Jinping and the CCP’s ability to bring about the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” Pastors were also told to tell Christians to endorse CCP leaders and the idea that “only socialism can save China” and to tell foreign leaders that “the era when the Chinese nation was slaughtered and bullied is gone forever.”
Under the nine points, pastors were also told that Christians must regularly repeat the slogans of: “Long live the great, glorious and correct Chinese Communist Party!” and “Long live the great, glorious and heroic Chinese people!”
Xu further shared several “achievements” of the CCP that should be included in sermons, including the CCP’s completion of the “four great achievements,” the CCP’s development of the “five civilizations,” and the CCP’s development of the “six common values” of humankind to the world.
According to Bitter Winter, the “four great achievements” refers to “a Socialist revolution and the construction of a Socialist society under Chairman Mao [Zedong], a Socialist reform under Deng Xiaoping, and a Socialism with Chinese characteristics under Xi Jinping.”
The “five civilizations” refer to the material, political, spiritual, social and economic worlds and the “six common values” are peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom.
China is ranked 17 on Open Doors' list of countries where it is most difficult for Christians to live.
For churches to stay open, they must be “sinicized,” meaning that they must adopt the Chinese cultural identity as promoted by the CCP.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, more than 400 members of the Church of the Almighty were arrested between April and June. Government officials explained that the arrests were made to maintain social order during the CCP’s centennial celebration.
Photo courtesy: Macau Photo Agency/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.