China orders churches to replace images of Jesus with portraits of President, Xi Jinping

Chinese President, Xi Jinping

Christians in China have been ordered to mash the crosses on their churches and remove images of Jesus from their homes, and replace them with images of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping.

This is part of China’s continued clampdown on religious freedom.

Authorities have recently destroyed religious symbols by force in churches in multiple provinces, including Anhui, Jiangsu, Hebei and Zhejiang, according to US-based news site Radio Free Asia.

Furthermore, officials of Shanxi, another region, demanded religious images be taken down and replaced with pictures of Communist leaders at the homes of impoverished believers, according to independent outlet Bitter Winter.

China Aid, founded by American-Chinese pastor Bob Fu, also released pictures which appear to show a heavy machine lifting a cross off one church and government workers standing in front of another.

Elsewhere in China, a local government of Linfen in Shanxi Province summoned all village officials and directed them to crack down on religious activity, reported Bitter Winter.

Village officials were instructed to remove crosses, religious symbols and images from the homes of some people of faith, according to the magazine that focuses on religious liberty and human rights in China.

Officials of Shanxi demanded religious images be removed and replaced with pictures of Communist leaders at the homes of impoverished believers (Photo: Daily Mail)

Chinese officials have even ordered religious leaders to review and edit religious texts to ensure that none of their beliefs goes against that of the Communist Party.