Under the instructions of the Chinese Communist Party, the churches run by the state in China stated that they were asked to hoist national flag and sing anthem. They have also been asked to praise Xi Jinping for managing the pandemic. All these have been made mandatory for reopening the churches.
Churches on being ordered to praise Xi Jinping
Lishiting Catholic Church, located in Shunhe of Kaifeng restarted their service from June 14. There was a gathering of 20 people and a priest who led the ceremony. It was watched over by government authorities.
While leading the ceremony, the priest announced and raised national flag and acknowledged the work under Xi Jinping. He paid respect to the President and the Communist Party as per orders.
On June 14, Gangxi Christian Church from the same district announced that the priests were ordered to praise CCP leaders for handling COVID-19.
The church reopened after 147 days, which is around five months and missed 21 Sunday sermons. A congregant said, instead of singing hymns and praising God, we had to sing the national anthem, raise the national flag, and praise the President’s victory over an epidemic. The congregant also said that this was opposite to their belief.
Two Christian Councils of Henan and a few other provinces informed that they received the same orders. They were asked to talk about how China battled the pandemic.
A pastor from the biggest Christian church of Quanzhou city located in Southeastern province of Fujian said that they were asked to criticize the US for their mismanagement of coronavirus. The Quannan Church pastor said that he was ordered to spread love for the socialist system followed by CCP.
As reported by a member, United Front Work Department and Religious Affairs Bureau demanded the churches to raise the national flag during the ceremonies in order to promote patriotism. An official stated that all churches need to follow these rules from now on or they will be forced to close down and the leaders will be dismissed.
What does this portray?
Marco Respinti, director-in-charge of Italian publication Bitter Winter spoke to Fox News about this. He said that this is an example of how CCP is trying to “Sinicize”. They want to make everything Chinese and turn people into puppets of their regime, even if it is absolutely blasphemous.
Marco Respinti also said that the party forces churches to withdraw Christian symbols and place portraits of Xi Jinping instead. Moreover, he added that religious persecution in a country that violates human rights is now worsened by trading the freedom of people by being obedient to the CCP.
China has used COVID-19 in several ways and one of them was propaganda reasons. Their regime is to be blamed for the outbreak, and definitely for delaying information. Moreover, they are responsible for millions of deaths happening across the world.
They are trying to project that they’ve been able to battle coronavirus. CCP sold the lie globally and now trying to sell the same model within the country by oppressing religious groups.