Ten Commandments replaced with Xi Jinping quotes in Chinese churches

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 5, 2018.REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

As China continues its religious crackdown, the authorities in part of central China have reportedly removed the Ten Commandments from churches and replaced them with quotes by President Xi Jinping. 

The quotes include excerpts from a speech Xi made to a Central United Front Work Department meeting in 2015, Bitter Winter reports.

"The core socialist values and Chinese culture will help to immerse various religions of China," he said at the time.

"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."

The website, which monitors religious freedom in China, said that the Ten Commandments had been replaced by the president's quotes in nearly every Three-Self church in one part of Luoyang city. 

The Three-Self Church is the official state-recognised Church in China.  Until relatively recently, China's crackdown on Christians was more preoccupied with unregistered 'underground' churches, but under Xi, even official churches have started to experience increasing difficulties. 

An anonymous source told the website that some churches had closed down after refusing to post Xi's quotes in place of the Ten Commandments. 

Others risk being blacklisted, the source said. 

One pastor speaking to Bitter Winter explained how the Communist Party was seeking to slowly dismantle Christian beliefs in China. 

"The government's first step is to prohibit religious couplets. Then it dismantles crosses and starts to implement the 'four requirements' by ordering the national flag and 'core socialist values' to be placed in churches," the pastor said.

"Surveillance cameras to monitor believers and religious activities are then installed. The last step is to replace the Ten Commandments with Xi Jinping's speeches."

He added: "The Communist Party's ultimate goal is to 'become God'. This is what the devil has always done."