China plans to rewrite the Bible to incorporate the socialist values of the communist country.
The Committee for Ethnic Affairs, the office in charge of all ethnic and religious matters in China, organized a meeting in November where officials discussed plans to review “classic religious books” and amend texts to “reflect socialist values,” reports Daily Sabah.
In many ways, the Chinese government’s control, including censorship of the Bible and the Quran, has twisted the doctrines of these religious texts and thus the religions. —Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International
According to the committee, religious books in China “do not conform to the progress of the times” and instead, must show the “era of President Xi Jinping.” The meeting was attended by a group of 16 religious authorities and they were told to follow Xi’s instructions and modify religious statements according to the “core values of Socialism.”
Wang Yang, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, supervised the meeting and urged the group to build “a religious system with Chinese characteristics.” The attendees agreed with the directive and believed that reviewing and re-translating existing religious books would prevent “extreme thoughts” and “heretical ideas,” reports The Daily Mail.
Although the plan did not specify the Bible, many believe that this latest program is part of the government’s crackdown on Christianity.
Patrick Poon, China Researcher at Amnesty International, “In many ways, the Chinese government’s control, including censorship of the Bible and the Quran, has twisted the doctrines of these religious texts and thus the religions. There is simply no genuine religious freedom.”
Last year, Rev. Bob Fu, founder of China Aid, testified before the US Congress and described the Chinese government’s five-year plan to rewrite the Bible. He said Beijing wants to add elements of Buddhism, Confucianism and Communism to the Bible, reports Back to Jerusalem.
“Every province, autonomous region and municipality’s TSPM and CCC (Chinese Christian Council) seminaries and churches will cooperate with it,” Rev. Fu said.
The cleric explained that the plan aims to curb the growing population of Christians in the country, despite the communist party’s many restrictions in practicing other religions.
China has controlled the training and ordination of new clergy members, and even the baptism of new members. Bible distribution is also limited, but the government’s various campaigns didn’t deter people from joining and practicing Christianity.