Christian books for sale on the Tianfeng Bookstore on China’s WeChat platform has been altered, a director at The Chinese University of Hong Kong Ying Fuk-tsang said. The Chinese word for Christ had been removed from the covers of all the books and replaced with a star instead. It is possible the motivation behind the censorship was to stop the books from being removed from WeChat, which is becoming increasingly hostile to religious subject matters.
Religious freedom within China is being eroded by president Xi Jinping’s regime that jealously demands the Chinese Communist Party, CCP, is held above everything else, including religious faith.
The China Christian Council, CCC, and Three-Self Patriotic Movement govern the Christian churches that are permitted by the Chinese government.
The popularity of Christianity within China is exploding, sparking panicked efforts from the CCP to slow the growth in support.
Last year it was revealed China would create a new state translation of the bible giving readers a “correct understanding” of the book.
Christian pastors have been detained in the country for “inciting subversion” and churches have been closed by authorities if they are deemed “unauthorised”.
Many churches were closed for refusing to install government-operated CCTV cameras within their buildings.
Speaking to the Guardian, Lian Xi, a professor at Duke University in North Carolina, said: “The government has orchestrated a campaign to ‘sinicise’ Christianity.
“This means to turn Christianity into a fully domesticated religion that would do the bidding of the party.”
China’s leadership under the power-hungry Xi Jinping has called for the party to lead on everything.
CCP cells are being planted in every social organisation in the country, particularly in religious movements.
Xi Jinping has promised to integrate the party in all aspects of life in China in the run-up to the CCP’s centenary in 2021.
Former Chinese president Deng Xiaoping had attempted to wrestle control from the party and allow decisions to be made by technocrats that were neutral and not officially connected to the party.
But, under Xi Jinping, the party is being pushed to the fore to control everything and he sits at the top of this hierarchy as the core leader.
Chinese church pastor Huang Xiaoning said: “The Chinese Communist party, CCP, wants to be the God of China and the Chinese people.
“But according to the Bible only God is God.
“The government is scared of the churches.”