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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Chinese officials pay poor to swap religious images for portraits of Xi

Officials in China’s eastern Jiangxi province have replaced religious images displayed by Christian families with portraits of the country’s leader, Xi Jinping.

Ucanews.com reported that, on Sunday 12th November, pictures were uploaded to the popular social messaging service WeChat account of Huangjinbu town government, showing officials removing images of the cross and other religious subjects in Yugan County.

The message from officials said the Christians involved had ‘recognised their mistakes and decided not to entrust to Jesus but to the (Communist) Party’ claiming the Christians voluntarily removed 624 religious images and posted 453 portraits of Xi.

The officials also claimed they were ‘converting’ Christians to party loyalty through poverty alleviation and other schemes to help the disadvantaged. Nearly 10 per cent of Yugan County’s largely impoverished 1 million people is Christian.

Picture: Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured in a Monday 13th November photo. Officials in China’s eastern Jiangxi province have replaced religious images displayed by Christian families with portraits of Xi. (CNS photo/Luong Thai Linh, Pool via Reuters).