by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – China’s President Xi Jinping has declared that Christian leaders in the country must “immediately” implement new government directives on attaining close alignment with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) principles, Bitter Winter reports.
Xi made his statement at the December 3-4 National Conference on Work-Related to Religious Affairs, the first of its kind since 2016.
Moreover, the leaders must preach China’s “Four Consciousness” in their sermons. The Four Consciousnesses are: the duties of maintaining political integrity, appreciating the larger picture, following the core leaders, and remaining aligned with the core leaders.
“The government-controlled Three-Self Church, the body the government uses to control Chinese Protestants, was the first called to implement ‘immediately’ the directives of the National Conference,” Bitter Winter said in its report.
Xi was at pains to stress his disappointment that the CCP “Sinicization” program launched in 2016 was not advancing fast enough, Bitter Winter said. Accordingly, on December 7, Pastor Xu Xiaohong, Chairman of the Chinese Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee, held an extraordinary meeting of the China Christian Council to plan the implementation of Xi’s directive.
China ranks 17 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.