The Chinese President, like Chairman Mao before him, is trying to propose himself as an object of worship worthier than god. Bitter Winter has selected some typical reports about this bizarre, yet worrying development.
Indoctrinating teachers and students
According to state-run media outlets, starting in the spring of 2019, all educational institutions in the southeastern province of Jiangxi – from kindergartens to colleges – are introducing “red culture” courses, taught based on specially prepared textbooks. In February 2019, the municipal Party committee of Hengshui city in the northern province of Hebei ordered the educational institutions within its jurisdiction to “implement the spirit of 19th CCP National Congress” by introducing Xi Jinping’s thought into campuses in various forms. Students are required to study books like “Ping’s” Language Close to People, Stories of Grandpa Xi, Dictionary of “Ping’s” Language, and other publications specially compiled and issued by Hebei’s Jizhou district education authorities.
Read the full text: Xi Jinping’s New Little Red Guards
“No matter where I was born, the blood of my motherland is always flowing inside me. No matter if I am alive or dead, this will never change. For all this, I commit to love my motherland, promising with my life and swearing with my glory” … Toddlers were following their teacher swearing an oath to China and its leader. The pledge was organized during a flag-raising ceremony in a kindergarten in Yongxiu county under the jurisdiction of Jiujiang city in the southwestern province of Jiangxi on September 25, 2019.
Read the full text: China’s Patriotic Education: Schooling or Indoctrination?
Read the full text: Ideological Education Pushes out Other University Courses
People across China forced to be addicted to a mobile app
Since the CCP launched “Xi Study Strong Nation” mobile app in January 2019, all Party members, civil servants, and teachers have been forced to download the app and study President Xi’s thoughts and work, accumulating points for reading articles, watching and listening to speeches, and answering questions. In mid-March 2019, believers at a Three-Self church in Xinyang city’s Pingqiao district were instructed by a local official to download “Xi Study Strong Nation” and attain at least 30 points every day.
Read the full text: Believers Mobilized to “Study Xi”
Further reading: Digital Maoism: The New Personality Cult of Xi Jinping
Many state-run institutions continue ranking their employees according to time they spend with the “Xi Study Strong Nation” mobile app, and force them to use it every day for “work supervision and assessment” purposes. Afraid of being reprimanded or criticized publicly, people must seize every minute to “study Xi” in order to meet the Party’s requirements and keep their jobs. One day in April 2019, a Party member in his late 50s from the eastern province of Shandong was answering questions on the app when he suddenly collapsed on the floor and died. A village director from a county under the jurisdiction of Shandong’s Heze city suffers from high blood pressure and gets ill frequently because of this condition. Regardless, he continues studying Xi Thought even when receiving an intravenous infusion.
Read the full text: Losing Sleep (and Lives) to Cram Xi Jinping Thought
Religious venues and believers’ homes occupied to destroy religious belief
Even though a state-run Three-Self church in a county of Luoyang city in the central province of Henan has replaced the Ten Commandments with President Xi Jinping’s quotes after repeated demands, it didn’t escape reprimands from the government. “The Party must be obeyed in every respect. You must do whatever the Party tells you to do. If you contradict, your church will be shut down immediately,” United Front Work Department officials lectured the congregation at the end of June 2019.
The Ten Commandments have been removed from nearly every Three-Self church and meeting venue in the county and replaced with quotations from Xi Jinping. These include excerpts from his speech at a Central United Front Work Department working meeting on May 18, 2015: “The core socialist values and Chinese culture will help to deepen various religions of China. Support religious community in interpreting religious thought, doctrines, and teachings in a way that conforms with the needs of the progress of the times. Resolutely guard against the infiltration of Western ideology, and consciously resist the influence of extremist thought.”
Read the full text: Xi Jinping’s Quotes Replace the Ten Commandments in Churches
Since July 2019, Xi Jinping’s speeches have been propagated from a large screen, installed at a Buddhist temple in Qinhuangdao, a prefecture-level city in the northern province of Hebei. It is now compulsory for the temple’s congregation to listen daily to the president’s speech at the 19th National Congress. As per the local Religious Affairs Bureau’s requirements, believers have to write an essay of at least 2,000 characters on what they had learned while listening to the speech.
In late May 2019, the local Religious Affairs Bureau demanded every religious venue to set up a library room and stock it with Xi Jinping’s speeches and books, state laws and regulations, texts on traditional Chinese culture as interpreted by the CCP, and similar topics for believers to read and study. The bookcases in the library of a local church are now filled with more than 1,000 books unrelated to religion, including Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, Classical Words Quoted by Xi Jinping, biographies of Mao Zedong and his successor Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997). There is not a single Bible in sight in the library. On June 11, 2019, the Luoyang city government in Henan organized a five-day training for more than 460 preachers to study “Xi Thought” and the “core socialist values.” Specially assigned personnel supervised and recorded these training sessions.
Read the full text: Xi Jinping Thought Invades Religious Venues
A Catholic Church in Ji’an, a prefecture-level city in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, was built this year at the cost of more than one million RMB (over $ 140,000), which had been raised by believers. It was named “The True and Original Source of the Universe” (萬有真原), a reference to the name inscribed in 1711 on a plaque the Kangxi Emperor (Xuanje, 1654–1722) donated to a Catholic church in Beijing. In late September 2019, local officials ordered the congregation to paint over the sign with the name of the church, replace it with “Follow the Party, Obey the Party, and Be Grateful to the Party,” and display the national flag at the entrance. The officials forcibly removed a painting of the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child, later discarded into a dark corner of the church. Instead, a portrait of president Xi Jinping was hung in the center of one of the walls, surrounded by propaganda slogans on both sides.
Read the full text: Xi Jinping Portraits Replace Catholic Symbols in Churches
In July 2019, the local committee of a village in Jinping Miao, Yao, and Dai Autonomous County ordered each household to hang a portrait of Xi Jinping at home. “They said that Xi Jinping is the boss, and we have to do this. The portrait must be put in the middle of the hall so that it appears in sight as soon as you open the door,” a young believer said. “Village committee officials even distributed us portraits of Xi Jinping and asked us to replace images of the cross with them,” another believer said. The non-officially published Bibles in the Miao language have become banned books.
Read the full text: Ethnic Miao Believers Forced to Join the United Protestant Church
“We received orders from higher-ups to remove crosses and religious couplets in the homes of believers, otherwise, we’ll revoke your allowance for impoverished households and other subsidies,” a local official intimidated a believer in her sixties at her home in Jiujiang, a city in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, in August 2019. The woman had no choice but to take off a poster with an image of the cross. Similarly, another Christian in the area had a religious poster replaced with a portrait of Xi Jinping, painted in the style of the Mao Zedong era. The incident caused much emotional stress for the woman, who is in her seventies, and she had to be hospitalized.
Read the full text: Believers Forced to Worship China’s Only god – President Xi
Following the path of Mao Zedong
The propaganda department of a municipality in Changzhi city in the northern province of Shanxi issued a notice in early July 2019, demanding each health system official and worker under its jurisdiction to purchase a copy of the Outline for Learning Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, compiled by the Central Propaganda Department in 2019, to ensure full coverage of “Xi Thought” studies and training. In the same month, the Organization Department of Ci County Committee, under the jurisdiction of Handan city in the northern province of Hebei, published the Pocketbook of Quotations from “Ping’s” Language Close to People and distributed copies to every CCP member and official in the county’s 280 villages. In less than a month, more than 20,000 copies of the pocketbook have been distributed. The book also comes with a notebook, titled Party Members and Officials’ Pocket Log. All members of the Party and government officials are demanded to memorize the contents of “Xi’s Quotes” and carry the log with them at all times, making notes.
Read the full text: CCP Members, Officials Forced to Learn “Xi Thought” by Heart