Western powers using Christianity to ‘subvert’ China, says religious official from The Guardian
GNN Note – It’s always someone else’s fault, never my own.
Head of state-sanctioned Protestant churches in China says ‘anti-China forces in the west’ are trying to interfere with social stability
The head of China’s state-sanctioned Protestant church has claimed that western forces are trying to use Christianity to influence society and “subvert” the government, saying that Chinese Christians needed to follow a Chinese model of the religion.
China’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, but since President Xi Jinping took office six years ago, the government has tightened restrictions on religions seen as a challenge to the authority of the ruling Communist party.
The government has cracked down on underground churches, both Protestant and Catholic, even as it seeks to improve relations with the Vatican.
In a speech on Monday, Xu Xiaohong, the head of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, said there were many problems with Christianity in the country, including “infiltration” from abroad and “private meeting places”.
“It must be recognised that our movement’s surname is ‘China’ and not ‘Western’,” Xu said, according to remarks reported on Tuesday by the United Front Work Department, which is in charge of co-opting non-communists, ethnic minorities and religious groups.
“Anti-China forces in the west are trying to continue to influence China’s social stability and even subvert our country’s political power through Christianity, and it is doomed to fail,” he said, speaking to parliament’s largely ceremonial advisory body.
“For individual black sheep who, under the banner of Christianity, participate in subverting national security, we firmly support the country to bring them to justice.“
Only by eliminating the “stigma of foreign religion” in China’s Christianity can its believers benefit society, he added.