Officials in China’s Eastern Jiangxi Province have replaced religious images displayed by Christian families with portraits of the country’s leader Xi Jinping.
On Nov. 12, pictures were uploaded to an account on the popular social messaging service WeChat account of Huangjinbu town government, Yugan County, showing officials removing images of the cross and other religious subjects.
The message from officials stated that the Christians involved had “recognized their mistakes and decided not to entrust to Jesus but to the (Communist) Party” claiming the Christians voluntarily removed 624 religious images and posted 453 portraits of Xi.
The officials also claimed they were “converting”Christians
to Party loyalty through poverty alleviation and other schemes to help the disadvantaged.
Nearly 10 percent of Yugan County’s largely impoverished one million population is Christian
Father Andrew, who declined to give his full name for fear of government retribution, told ucanews.com that the removal of the Christian images involved officials giving money to poor households in return for hanging Xi’s portrait instead.
Father John, in northern China, feltXi had become “another Mao” following the Party Congress in October, and predicted that other officials around the country would imitate what had been done in Yugan county.