China continues its war against the Christian faith by forcing churches to replace hymns and spiritual songs with those praising the country.
Earlier this year, the Chinese government required all believers to sing from Newly Compiled Hymns, a hymnal published by China’s Two National Christian Council. As reported by Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty in China, the new required singing includes Bible chapters through a secular lens.
“The hymns published by the government only promote political, secularized content,” director of a Three-Self church in China said. “All believers are unwilling sing them.” One of the hymns reads: “China is beautiful; China is great; the sons and daughters of China love China. … Bless China, O Lord.”
“Such hymns aren’t praising the Lord at all,” the director continued. “They are entirely praising the country, and are no different from secular songs. Isn’t the government engaging in dishonesty and deceit?”
Last month, churches in Mudan district were required to create “Christian cultural activity centers.” These places will “write and perform Chinese operas and skits; form activity groups for painting and calligraphy, Chinese operas, fashion shows, and photography; incorporate local cultural characteristics into Christian traditions, and promote the ‘sinicization’ of Christianity.”
Sinicization is the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to assimilate minorities into the Chinese culture, which includes Christians. Bob Fu, founder of ChinaAid, testified at a congressional hearing in September that China plans to roll out a five-year sinicization plan, which includes the new hymns.
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Source: Christian Headlines