Chinese Christian told to replace portraits of Jesus with Xi Jinping to escape poverty


Swapping posters of Jesus for portraits of President Xi Jinping can help one get a ticket out of poverty.

That was the message sent to thousands of Christians in Poyang, Yugan county in Jiangxi province, by local government officials administering a poverty-relief programme that seeks to “transform believers in religion into believers in the party”.

Swapping Jesus for Xi
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), a local social media account reported over the weekend that officials visited poor Christian families in Yugan’s Huangjinbu township to promote the party’s poverty-relief policies.

The SCMP report said that the campaign was started in March, and that it focuses on teaching Christian families the concern Xi and the Communist Party has for their well-being.

The report said that the officials had successfully “melted the hard ice in their hearts” and “transformed them from believing in religion to believing in the party”.

Adopting a practice reminiscent of the era of the personality cult surrounding late chairman Mao Zedong, whose portraits were once commonplace in Chinese homes, more than 600 villagers “voluntarily” got rid of the religious text and paintings they had in their homes, and replaced them with 453 portraits of Xi.

The SCMP report said that the campaign was started in March, and that it focuses on teaching Christian families the concern Xi and the Communist Party has for their well-being.

The social media report has since disappeared on Monday afternoon, but the campaign was confirmed by local villagers and officials contacted by the SCMP.

Mothership.SG