07/21/2023 China (International Christian Concern) – The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government is rewriting portions of the Bible in an effort to increase its control over religion in country, according to U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI). In a meeting of the House Select Committee on the CCP, Rep. Gallagher stated that Chairman Xi Jinping is on a “quest to make the faithful serve the party rather than God.”
Rep. Gallagher referenced a statement from Chairman Xi during the 19th Party Congress in 2017 that declares the intent to pursue “the Sinicization of Chinese religions and provide active guidance for religion and socialism to coexist.” Besides attempting to control Christian doctrine and practice, the CCP is persecuting other Buddhist and Muslim ethnic minorities, according to Rep. Gallagher.
The CCP sees itself as possessing absolute authority over religion in China. For example, in 2018, the Vatican compromised with the CCP on the prerogative to appoint Roman Catholic clergy in China. Multiple sources have warned that the CCP aims to select the next Dalai Lama—the supreme leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Thus, the CCP forcing the church to be subservient to the state infringes the Western conception of religious liberty, which is founded on the Christian understanding of the church and the state as distinct institutions ordained by God.
Rep. Gallagher cited two cases of the CCP rewriting portions of the Bible. The first from the account in the Gospel of John of Jesus telling the woman caught in adultery to “go, and from now on sin no more,” after telling the scribes and Pharisees, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her (John 8:3-11, ESV).” A textbook from a Chinese university appeared in 2020 with the account from the Gospel of John rewritten to end with “Jesus himself stoning the adulterous woman to death,” according to Rep. Gallagher.
The second is a report that CCP authorities in Henan province “forced Protestant churches to replace the Ten Commandments with Xi Jinping quotes,” changing the first commandment from, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me,” (Exodus 20:3, KJV) to, “Resolutely guard against the infiltration of Western ideology.”
Two Christian pastors at the Congressional meeting testified on persecution in China, noting that many Chinese pastors and Christians are undeterred. International Christian Concern (ICC) recently published a report describing the growth of the underground church in Iran, where government repression seems to cause the church to grow rather than stifle it. As the early church father Tertullian wrote, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
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International Christian Concern, www.persecution.org