With as many as 130 million Chinese Christians and the continuing explosive growth of the underground church, there are now more Christians in China than members of the Chinese communist party.
The Chinese government’s persecution of Christians has only led to even more church growth, causing the Communist Party to now target the Bible itself, with what it calls an “update” with “socialist values,” and removing passages that don’t reflect communist beliefs.
“The Chinese are no longer content with all of these attempts to try to forcibly get Christians to deny their faith,” says Tina Ramirez, the founder of Hardwired Global. “And so now they’ve just taken it to a new level where they’re trying to rewrite the scripture and what the Bible says, to confuse them and to prevent them from becoming Christians.”
One example from a high school textbook, a Communist Party revision of John, Chapter eight, about the woman caught in adultery, perverts the true biblical account about Jesus. It now says:
Jesus once said to the angry crowd who was trying to stone a woman who had sinned, “He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” When his words came to their ears, they stopped moving forward. When everyone went out, Jesus stoned the woman himself, and said “I am also a sinner.”
Bob Fu, the president of ChinaAid says, “So, this is happening right now. We have seen the escalation. Bibles for children is totally forbidden. And all the Bible apps and Bible-related apps were forcefully removed from every e-commerce app store. Millions of Chinese Christian children were forced to sign a form renouncing their faith in public.”
“The issue for the Chinese Communist Party is control. It is always about control,” says Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs. “And they see the Gospel, they see the Christian message as something that would take control away from the Communist Party. And so this new socialist translation of the Bible is just another step for the Chinese Communist Party as they try to control the church and really co-opt Christianity as a means of controlling the people and helping them serve the party’s interests.”
But one Chinese pastor was quoted as saying, “…the (Communist Party) rulers have chosen an enemy that can never be imprisoned. They are doomed to lose.”