Catholics in China are facing big threats to their faith, especially, when the country officials have now replaced the pictures of Jesus Christ with the images of Xi Jinping, president of China. On November 12, 2017, pictures were uploaded to an account on the popular social messaging service WeChat account of Huangjinbu town government, Yugan County, showing officials removing images of the cross and other religious subjects.
As reported by catholicnews.com, the message from the officials stated that “The Christians involved had recognized their mistakes and decided not to entrust to Jesus but to the Party (Communist).” It also claimed that the Christians voluntarily removed 624 religious images and posted 453 portraits of Xi Jinping. Fr. Andrew, who declined to give his full name for fear of government retribution stressed that “The removal of the Christian images involved officials giving money to poor households in return for hanging Xi’s portrait instead.
The priests and Christians lay faithful in China fear that religious and social controls would intensify in the country. The release in China of videos urging children to spy on their families has also brought back further dark memories of 1966-76 Cultural Revolution in which youths enforced Communist Party ideology.