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The Chinese Communist Party Is Rewriting the Bible

As part of a push to "sinicize" religion (to make it Chinese in character), the Chinese Communist Party has embarked on a 10-year project to rewrite the Bible and other religious texts. In the Gospel of John, Jesus famously confronts the accusers of a woman caught committing adultery, saying "let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her." The chastened accusers slink away and Jesus says to the woman, "‘Has no one condemned you?' 'No one, sir,' she replied. 'Neither do I condemn you,' said Jesus. 'Go away, and from this moment sin no more.'"

A beautiful story of forgiveness and mercy. Unless you’re a CCP official. Then it's a story of a dissident challenging the authority of the state. A possible sneak preview of what a Bible with socialist characteristics might look like appeared in a Chinese university textbook in 2020. The rewritten Gospel of John excerpt ends, not with mercy, but with Jesus himself stoning the adulterous woman to death.

The 10-year project to rewrite the Bible, Quran, and other sacred texts is all part of Xi Jinping’s quest to make the faithful serve the party rather than God. At the 19th Party Congress, Chairman Xi declared "We will … insist on the sinicization of Chinese religions, and provide active guidance for religion and socialism to coexist." In other words, Xi Jinping has no problem with the first commandment, just so long as he and the CCP are playing the role of God.

Yet, even under intense persecution, faith persists throughout China and the number of faithful grows. There are accounts of underground churches, brave clergy, and steadfast believers every bit as courageous as saints of the early-church.

The CCP wishes for there to be nothing higher than their authority, and views love for anything besides their Marxist-Leninist regime with vicious jealousy. In an interview the pastor of one Chinese church stated, "In this war … the rulers have chosen an enemy that can never be imprisoned – the soul of man." The pastor ended with an assessment "[The PRC rulers] are doomed to lose."

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