Located on the Edge of Poyang, China’s Largest Freshwater Lake, the Impoverished County in the Jiangxi Province Is Known Equally for Its Poverty and Its Large Christian Community
The visits were part of a government campaign to alleviate poverty in the region, as some CPC members believe Christianity is to blame for their financial woes, according to SCMP.
Want to Escape Poverty? Replace Pictures of Jesus with Xi Jinping, Christian Villagers Urged
This move represents the party’s desire for residents look to their leaders, rather than their a Savior, for assistance. The head of the government campaign told SCMP that “many poor households have plunged into poverty because of illness in the family. Some resorted to believing in Jesus to cure their illnesses,”
Thousands of Christians in Yugan County in Rural South East China Have Been Told by Local Officials That Jesus Christ Wouldn’t Drag Them out of Poverty or Cure Their Illnesses, but the Chinese Communist Party Will. Hence, They Should Take down Those Pictures of Christ and Put up a Nice Photograph of President Xi Jinping.
According to reports, some Christians in Yugan county say they were told they would not be eligible for government assistance unless their posters were removed, though the party denies the claim,
Xi continues a longstanding tradition by Chinese leaders to assert state power to reign in social movements that threaten it, according to Brent Fulton, president of ChinaSource.
The Yugan Church Removed Its Cross to Comply With Government Regulations
In September2017 , China passed legislation to further restrict religious gatherings, teachings, and buildings to go into effect until February 2018. Christians in some areas have already noticed a crackdown on their activity.
A Chinese church pastor, her daughter, and her young grandson have been arrested, for overstepping the country’s newly tightened religious restrictions. Chinese officials warned Xu Shizhen in August 2017 that publicly sharing her faith is now a violation of the government policy.
In an August 2017 op-ed for The New York Times, Chinese student Derek Lam called out“perverse” efforts to co-opt Christianity to endorse Xi’s political agenda.
China is officially an atheist country but the Communist Party-run government recognises five religions – Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Protestantism and Catholicism. Under the Chinese constitution, citizens have the liberty to follow a religion of choice but in reality, freedom of religion is severely curtailed.
“Judging by recent events, the party is very close to completing its mission of bringing Christianity under its thumb,” he wrote. “Although there is nothing I would love more than to become a pastor and preach the gospel in Hong Kong, I will never do so if it means making Jesus subservient to Xi Jinping.”