Chinese Christians were outraged over a state-run Christian magazine’s issues which changed Biblical stories and characters into ancient Chinese.
Since early this year, Tian Feng (“Heavenly Wind”) featured a “sinicized” version of Bible stories and characters. In the October issue of Heavenly Wind, biblical drawings were replaced by patriotic slogans and illustrations.
The CCP is replacing the words of God with human moral standards, secretly distorting the doctrine and eroding the foundations of the Christian faith. —Underground church preacher
In past issues, Jesus was shown wearing a traditional Han attire, Mary was depicted as an ancient Chinese woman, while the poor people whom Jesus fed during the “miracle of the five loaves and two fishes” were drawn with their hair tied in traditional Chinese buns.
According to religious watchdog, Bitter Winter, the monthly magazine “has always been a good indicator of the state of ‘official’ Christianity in China.”
Christians in China feared that the government was distorting biblical teachings in its campaign to sinicize the religion.
One Christian disclosed that Heavenly Wind’s illustrations reminded him of the Chinese classic, “Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars.” He said, “My eyes widened when I saw Mary with her hair tied in a bun like an ancient Chinese woman. It’s so bizarre.”
Another believer, a 70-year-old from Qinghai province, commented that, “I never expected that the Lord Jesus and saints through the ages would be transformed into Chinese people. The CCP has gone totally crazy!”
The Chinese Communist Party believes that Christianity, being a Western religion, must be carefully supervised and monitored. It is concerned that the religion is being used to influence negatively its citizens.
In addition to portraying Biblical characters as ancient Chinese, Heavenly Wind also included columns comparing biblical teachings to Confucian and ancient Chinese classics. Believers in the country called such interpretations as “blasphemy.”
An underground church preacher said, “The CCP is replacing the words of God with human moral standards, secretly distorting the doctrine and eroding the foundations of the Christian faith. This is a truly sinister approach.”
Meanwhile, a preacher from the province of Shaanxi commented that, “During the Cultural Revolution, if you believed in Jesus, the Communist Party would arrest you and kill you in the open. Now, the regime is gradually distorting the Christian doctrine in secret.”