Which government audit did you pass?

Most important benchmark for preachers: obey and follow the party

Henan Provincial Authorities are conducting a comprehensive examination of Three Self-Preachers. Your ultimate goal is to get rid of the "unpatriotic" among them.

Jiang Tao

The Chinese authorities are now evaluating the preachers of the state-controlled Three Self-Churches according to the standards applicable to members of the Communist Party, in order to create a group of "red" church people who are loyal to communist ideals and who are true to Xi Jinpinig's "Sinization Policy" unquestionably follows.

In conversation with Bitter winter Preachers from state-recognized Protestant churches in China's central Henan Province stated that the current evaluation standards for preachers have nothing to do with religion: the only decisive criterion is what knowledge the preacher has about the CCP ideology and politics. From the exam questions to the composition of the exam team, the party strictly controls who is allowed to preach in the Three Self-Churches. The preachers fear that the churches in China will eventually become the CCP's political propaganda offices.

You can only survive with answers that correspond to the party line

A preacher from Xinmi City (Henan) reported that the decision to test every preacher in a Three Self Church was made at a meeting of the then Henan Province Religious Affairs Bureau in August 2018 (this facility was later changed in renamed “Bureau for Ethnic and Religious Affairs” that year).

In early September, the Office decided that two assessment requirements should be made: preaching skills and political literacy. The first part was rated with 30 points, the second with 70 points. This ensured that only "ideologically enlightened" were allowed to preach.

For the first part, each candidate had to write a draft for a sermon in which the topics of national politics, cultural tradition and basic socialist values ​​had to appear. Topics like eternal life, heaven or hell and the like are forbidden in sermons.

To evaluate the political position of the preachers, the Religious Affairs Bureau had prepared a questionnaire. The Xinmi preacher stated that in order to pass the political part of the test, one had to be familiar with the terminology and political dogmas of the Religious Affairs Bureau. For example, the correct answer to the question: “What is your position on the subject of hoisting national flags in front of churches?”: “Without a national flag there would be no patriotism. People have to love their country more than their religion. "

In order to achieve a high score on the question of how the candidate evaluates the relationship between church and politics, the answer should be that without the state there would be no church.

The preacher listed more examples of "correct" answers:

Question: What do you think of grave cleaning rituals and offerings for ancestors? [The tradition of cleaning tombs has been cultivated by the Han Chinese for over 2500 years in order to fulfill their duty to the ancestors - which is one of the Confucian virtues.]

Answer: This is a traditional part of Chinese culture, Christians can clean graves and make sacrifices to ancestors, it is not against the Bible.

Question: Why are minors not allowed to go to church?

Answer: That is state policy. Children are not allowed in churches to ensure their physical and mental well-being.

A preacher from Xinzheng City, who took the exam on April 1 of this year, recalls having to prepare a sermon on the subject of "Christians Must Love Their Country" in the sermon portion of the test. On the exam he said: “Before someone has a home, he must have a land. The motto and spirit of the 19th National Congress of the CCP is to remember your original purpose and not lose sight of your task. People like Hua Mulan or Lei Feng have sacrificed their lives out of love for their country. They serve as an example. ”With reference to Hua Mulan (a Chinese warrior from the 4th and 5th centuries who has become a legend) and Lei Fang (a soldier of the liberation army who has become a communist Became legend and is often portrayed as an exemplary citizen in Chinese propaganda), the preacher was able to ensure that he hit the right note and that the responsible bureau would let him pass the test.

Another preacher said helplessly: “Actually, the preaching exam is about examining the political attitudes of the participants. Government officials do not understand the Bible. As long as you play the Communist Party by the beard and support it, you can pass this test. If not, you have no chance - no matter how well you know about the Bible. "

Dismissed numerous preachers

A preacher from Luoyang City said that from August to November 2018, the city's Religious Affairs Bureau screened preachers from Chanhe, Xigong, and Luolong neighborhoods. Only ministers under the age of sixty with a junior high school degree were allowed to take the exams.

The preacher explained that three of the five auditors were government officials and the other two were from the Two National Christian Councils. This ensured that the party officials had the power to make decisions. Out of more than 80 preachers tested in Luolong District, almost 50 failed. Their preaching license was withdrawn.

In Xinzheng City, only 58 preachers out of 100 passed the exam organized by the City Religious Affairs Bureau and the United Labor Front at Sias Yufu Church in late August. A local preacher told the story Bitter winterthat some preachers had shown very good knowledge of the Bible, but could only achieve a few points in the political part. This led to their preaching license being withdrawn. The 58 preachers had to retake the exam this April. It is not yet known how many of them passed.

A preacher over 80 years old stated that the government exams are designed to fire senior preachers and preachers who disobey the Communist Party. “The government's goal is to train young ministers to indoctrinate and infiltrate them so that they can use the CCP's methods when they preach in worship. In the end, they should serve the CCP more than willingly, "said the preacher.

Tags: Three-Self Church