Christians are ordered to “completely get rid of the foreign religion.” “Sinicizing” really means “identifying with the leadership of the CCP.”
by Zhang Chunhua
The 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should be the opportunity to speed up the “sinicization of Christianity,” Christians were told at a conference of the Leading Group for Promoting the Sinicization of Christianity, held on July 13 in Shanghai and organized by the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, i.e., the government-controlled Protestant Church, and China Christian Council, which supervises education in the Three-Self Churches.
The meeting was presided over by Pastor Xu Xiaohong, chairman of the Three-Self Church. Among those who gave speeches were Pastor Wu Wei, President of the Chinese Christian Association, and the leaders of the 12th Bureau of the Central United Front Work Department.
What does it mean? Christianity is often called a “foreign religion” by the CCP’s pro-atheism propaganda, and it may seem that Christians are asked to get rid of Christianity.
Pastor Wu and the other speakers did not go that far, but noted that the Bible and the hymnals have not been “sinicized” enough.
It is important to note that “sinicization” in CCP’s jargon does not mean presenting the Gospel in a style adapted to the Chinese. This has been done by missionaries for centuries, although not by all of them and not always with success. It means presenting Christianity in Communist terms, persuading Christians that the Bible confirms the theories of the CCP.
“We hear a lot that we should include in our churches the ‘excellent Chinese traditional culture’—Bitter Winter was told by a pastor who prefers to remain anonymous—and I for one would not be against showing that in the Chinese classics there were positive human values. However, ‘excellent’ for the CCP means ‘interpreted by the CCP.’ We are asked to quote books that are not the real Chinese classics but the CCP’s Communist interpretation of the Chinese classics.”
Something that was also continuously mentioned in the Shanghai conference are the “Core Socialist Values.” “Sinicizing” the Bible, the pastors were told, means that not all parts of the Bible should be introduced to Chinese devotees, only those in harmony with the “Core Socialist Values.”
The Biblical stories, Pastor Wu said, should “further the conscious identification of the Christians with the leadership of the CCP and the Socialist path.” It is of course difficult to find Biblical references to the leadership of the CCP, but interpretation can always help. Remembering that a CCP book “interpreted” the story of the woman taken in adultery in John 8:3–11 claiming that Jesus actually killed the woman to show that laws should always be respected, we can expect more “interpretations” that would falsify and reverse the meaning of the Bible and create a “Gospel according to Xi Jinping.”
Hymns should also be “sinicized” by eliminating all those whose words or music have a non-Chinese source—meaning all traditional hymns will disappear—and replacing them with songs “advancing Socialist culture.”
What will be left of Christianity? Probably, not much.