The government of this Shaanxi Province city has adopted drastic measures to implement orders from Beijing to eradicate Buddhist, Taoist, and folk religion temples.
As religion “sinicization” campaign sweeps across China, the state repurposes places of worship, replacing spiritual texts and symbols with propaganda.
A state-run Christian monthly “sinicized” biblical stories, where Jesus is shown wearing traditional Han attire and Mary is personified as an ancient Chinese woman.
Ever since the restrictions started being implemented in the beginning of last year, the young are not allowed to practice their faith openly.
Places of worship, set up by Three-Self churches to facilitate believers with disabilities or in far-away regions, are facing increasing suppression by the state.
The campaign to eliminate unauthorized Islamic and Christian symbols is in full force, religious insignia replaced with communist propaganda or patriotic slogans.
By coercing congregations into signing mandatory “donation agreements” to give away churches, authorities attempt to present forced takeovers as “legitimate.”
To avoid raids and arrests, house church believers disguise their venues or opt to pray in the mountains, just to stay away from the watchful eyes of the regime.
Since last year, Taoism, long considered as China’s traditional religion, suffered the most severe crackdown since the Cultural Revolution.