It appears as though the Chinese government’s stranglehold on its people is getting even tighter.
A report from Bitter Winter, a magazine dedicated to publicizing the Chinese government’s many infringements on religious freedom and human rights, reveals the communist overlords are now taking aim at the Ten Commandments, the basic Judeo-Christian moral code.
In Luoyang city and the surrounding area, the country’s state-sanctioned Three-Self Church — one of the few religious groups authorized (and strictly controlled) by the Communist Party of China — reportedly had the walls of nearly all of their buildings stripped of the biblical words.
This news comes via an anonymous Chinese Christian who spoke with Bitter Winter.
In place of the Ten Commandments are the sayings of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Support religious community in interpreting religious thought, doctrines, and teachings in a way that conforms with the needs of the progress of the times,” one Xi quote reportedly reads. “Resolutely guard against the infiltration of Western ideology, and consciously resist the influence of extremist thought.”
The “extremist thought” Xi is warning of isn’t likely anything relating to terrorism, but something much more dangerous to the Chinese communist state — the acknowledgement of a power higher than the government.
This isn’t the first time in history that Christians have found themselves in trouble with the state for their beliefs.
The situation in the communist nation is similar to what Christians in the early church faced during the Roman Empire.
Although Christians in China don’t have to fear the brutal practice of crucifixion, the government’s aggression toward free practice of the religion makes it nearly impossible to worship freely.
Outside of government-approved churches, citizens have very few options.
Many worship in secret in believers’ homes. Difficult to detect thanks to their decentralized nature, these house churches are generally ignored by the government if membership is kept small.
According to the South China Morning Post, an increasingly complicated network of laws make most of the underground churches illegal.
Now, many of these house churches have removed their Christian iconography and replaced much of the furniture with couches so the rooms resemble traditional homes.
Although this is a move to thwart authorities, the ever-growing surveillance state in China is only making detection easier for the ruling party.
“The Communist Party’s ultimate goal is to ‘become God,'” one anonymous Three-Self Church pastor told Bitter Winter. “This is what the devil has always done.”
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