Chinese officials have accused the West of trying to use Christianity to influence China’s culture and “subvert” the Government.
They warn that Christians must now follow ‘a Chinese model’ of the religion which includes a state-approved translation of the Bible.
The country’s constitution purports to allow religious freedom, but since President Xi Jinping took office in 2013, the Government has significantly tightened restrictions on religion.
China aims to eradicate all foreign influences from Chinese culture, and this is reflected in its religious policies.
Xu Xiaohong, a government official and head of a national committee for Protestant churches, claimed: “Anti-China forces in the West are trying to continue to influence China’s social stability and even subvert our country’s political power through Christianity”.
He also said that churches must teach the core values of socialism and base their worship practices on Chinese culture.
The Government has cracked down on underground churches, imprisoning pastors and church members who do not adhere to the new regulations.
Earlier this year it was reported that Chinese officials censored the first commandment – “You shall have no other gods before me” – claiming that it contradicted the policy of President Xi Jinping.