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ICC Note: In Yugan County, a poor rural area in Jiangxi, China, the local government is pressuring Christians to replace the image of Jesus with that of Chinese President Xi Jinping, in order for them to benefit from poverty relief programs. The authorities were going around poor areas promoting the Chinese Communist Party. They told villagers that instead of relying on God, they should turn to the Party who can help eradicate poverty. This further confirms Chinese government’s strategy to force its people to embrace the Party before anything else.  

11/14/2017 China (Asia News) – Yugan County, a poor rural area in the southern province of Jiangxi Province, has undertaken a campaign to replace religious faith with faith in the party.

To achieve this, the local government is asking people to replace the image of Jesus with that of Xi Jinping if they want to benefit from its poverty-relief programme.

Such a practice is a throwback to the times of the personality cult of Mao Zedong, whose picture was ubiquitous in Chinese homes.

A local social media account reported over the weekend that in Yugan’s Huangjinbu township, party officials visited poor Christian families to promote the party’s poverty-relief policies and help them solve their material problems.

The officials successfully “melted the hard ice in their hearts” and “transformed them from believing in religion to believing in the party”, the report said.

As a result, more than 600 villagers “voluntarily” got rid of the religious texts and paintings they had in their homes, and replaced them with 453 portraits of Xi.

By Monday afternoon, the report disappeared, but the campaign was confirmed by villagers and local officials.

A resident of another township in Yugan said that in recent months many of his fellow villagers had been told to remove religious artefacts from their homes.

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