State-vetted Churches in China Seek to Include Socialism in Sermon

07/12/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – The two organizations responsible for monitoring state-sanctioned churches in Shanghai city are mobilizing church leaders to attend sermon writing training, with the aim to better incorporate socialism into their Sunday preaching.

In a notification sent earlier to all the China Christian Council (CCC) and Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), two organizations commonly known as the lianghui in the districts of Shanghai, the Shanghai City Lianghui has asked them to send at least three representatives to attend a workshop on how to write sermon incorporating “Core Socialist Values.”

While these values point to a set of 12 values as guidelines to Chinese society: patriotism, democracy, civility, harmony, power through wealth, justice, freedom, equality, rule of law, industriousness, sincerity and friendliness, essentially they are being used to elevate the status of the Communist Party of China and President Xi Jinping.

Father Francis Liu from Chinese Christian fellowship of Righteousness told ICC, “This [request] has started since last year. Some places have already put into practice.” He also shared photos of an unnamed Three-self church in Henan, with big billboards advocating for socialism quoting Bible verses.

He added that the state-sanctioned churches have been promoting such approach in recent years. The freedom to write sermon without interference for the TSPM pastors is rapidly eroding.

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