The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to harass and persecute Christians and, in recent months, has taken to removing pictures of Jesus Christ from inside homes and replacing them with pictures of dictator Mao Zedong and/or China's current authoritarian president, Xi Jinping.
In addition, Communist officials have removed Christian symbols and phrases on the outside of homes and replaced them with phrases praising socialist materialism.
As the religious liberty and Chinese human rights magazine Bitter Winter and CBN News have reported, government officials in Xiayi county in the Henan Province have warned, “Anyone who hangs up portraits of Jesus or pictures of crosses has to tear them down and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and Xi Jinping. This is the policy of the Central Committee."
This also applies to pictures of the Christian cross and other Christian symbols. "As villagers from Xiayi county said, officials in groups of three and four have been going from house to house conducting inspections and removing any religious paraphernalia found," reported Bitter Winter.
CCP officials barged into a home in October and demanded that an 80-year-old man replace a picture of a Cross with pictures of Mao and Xi Jinping. “If we come back for inspection and find that you haven’t put up Chairman Mao’s portrait, we’ll cancel your poverty alleviation benefits,” the officials said.
The man, Fei Zhongju (a pseudonym), did as he was told but fell off the table and injured himself when he was changing the pictures. Fei's wife told Bitter Winter, “What have we believers in the Lord done wrong? The government is forcing us to tear up portraits of the Lord Jesus, and as a result, my husband was injured.”
In September, as reported, CCP officials ordered a government worker to go "home to home" and remove the religious symbols on the houses' gates. (See photos.)
Approximately "1,400 Christian items have been reportedly destroyed in households all across the townships of Xiayi county since early February 2018," said Bitter Winter.
"In October alone, 223 households in the Suiyang district of Shangqiu city saw the religious symbols on their gates removed and destroyed; and approximately 130 households across villages in the Liangyuan district endured the same."
"Within 15 days, the homes of 279 residents in Xin’an county, under the jurisdiction of the prefecture-level city of Luoyang, had their religious symbols removed," reported the human rights publication. "Eventually, every home in Xin’an was without religious banners or gate decorations."
Many Chinese Christians have described the CCP's actions as similar to Mao's Cultural Revolution, when millions of Chinese were persecuted for their alleged bourgeois, anti-revolutionary beliefs.