08/24/2020 China (International Christian Concern) – A city in China’s Liaoning province is asking its Three-Self church preachers to compete against each other, in order to determine who can best adapt Sinicization to Christian theology.
According to Bitter Winter’s report, on July 20, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau of Dandong, a prefecture-level city in the northeastern province of Liaoning, issued an order to organize a sermon competition on the “Sinicization” of religion.
The document obtained by Bitter Winter, entitled Implementation Plan for the Preaching Competition on Sinicization of Christianity in 2020 demands preachers of Three-Self churches to join and prepare sermons by “looking for elements in the Bible that are relevant to the core socialist values and traditional Chinese culture” in conformity with “the progress of the times.”
The core socialist values are a set of state-approved interpretations of Chinese socialism promoted at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012. They include “prosperity”, “democracy”, “civility”, “harmony”, “freedom”, “equality”, “justice”, “rule of law”, “patriotism”, “dedication”, “integrity”, and “friendship. ”
A local Christian told Bitter Winter that only those who write such sermons could pass the annual review to get a clergy certificate.
“By making such parallels, the CCP wants to tell believers that by observing the Party’s ideology, they follow the teachings of the Bible,” a Three-Self church director commented. “It is so devious. They are poisoning people of faith bit by bit, eroding their belief. By doing so, the CCP aims to justify its control over religion.”