Tags: Christianity | China | Chinese President Xi Jinping | Communist Party

Chinese Villagers Urged to Replace Jesus Pictures With President Xi

Chinese Villagers Urged to Replace Jesus Pictures With President Xi

China's President Xi Jinping (Kham/Pool Photo via AP, File)

By    |   Sunday, 19 November 2017 05:15 PM

As part of a Chinese government propaganda effort to "transform believers in religion into believers in the party," thousands of Christian villagers have taken down displays of faith in their homes, including crosses and pictures of Jesus, and instead put up portraits of Chinese President Xi Jinping after visiting Communist Party officials urged them to do so, Christianity Today has reported.

The government is portraying its campaign in the framework of trying to alleviate poverty.

"Many poor households have plunged into poverty because of illness in the family. Some resorted to believing in Jesus to cure their illnesses," an official told the South China Morning Post. "But we tried to tell them that getting ill is a physical thing, and that the people who can really help them are the Communist Party and General Secretary Xi."

The effort was reportedly concentrated in Yugan county of Jiangxi province, where about 10 percent of the population is Christian, a much higher rate than the official two percent figure cited nationwide.

More than 600 people removed Christian symbols from homes and 453 hung portraits of the president, according to the Post.

AsiaNews.it reported that the villagers were told that they would not be eligible for a poverty-relief program unless they complied with the request to replace Jesus pictures with those of Xi.

The campaign comes a month after Xi consolidated his power at the Communist Party’s national congress and passed a measure to write his political philosophy into its constitution, CNBC reported.


For many, these moves have harked back to the personality cult developed by former Chinese leader Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution launched in the 1960s.

Christianity has reportedly been spreading at a rapid pace over the last decades in China, and many believe the actual number of believers is much higher than the official figures, according to Newsweek.

This trend is occurring even as the Chinese authorities have attempted to discourage religion, although it is not officially banned.

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As part of a Chinese government propaganda effort to "transform believers in religion into believers in the party," thousands of Christian villagers have taken down displays of faith in their homes, including crosses and pictures of Jesus, and instead put up portraits of...
Christianity, China, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Communist Party
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2017-15-19
Sunday, 19 November 2017 05:15 PM
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