“You shall have no other gods before me.” This is the first on the list of the Ten Commandments, but in China, it is banned.
According to the website Bitter Winter that focuses on religious freedom and human rights in the country, around 30 officials in Luoning county in the Henan Province ordered a registered church in Dongcun village during a worship service to remove the first commandment back in November.
The church leader and churchgoers strongly opposed it. One of the believers said it is not appropriate. “They’re falsifying the words of God! It’s resisting the Lord!” But according to an official, Chinese leader Xi Jinping is against the statement. He added that if people do not agree with the country’s leader, they are fighting against China, adding that removing the first commandment is a national policy.
Now, the Ten Commandments have been converted into the ‘Nine Commandments.
One of the church members said last August, the government forcibly removed the cross of the church. “Now, the Ten Commandments have been converted into the ‘Nine Commandments.’ In China, practicing your faith is difficult.”
Recent events, including the removal of crosses, arrests of over 100 believers, and closures of various churches indicate the worsening situation for Christians in China. In 2018, the government banned selling copies of the Bible. They also introduced a new version of the Scripture, created by the Chinese Communist Party. They likewise required churches to teach core socialist values as doctrine.
According to David Curry, CEO of Open Doors, the situation is likely to get worse, as the Chinese Communist Party continues to enforce Chinese nationalism. ”The government is trying to force out unregistered churches. Those churches that are registered, they approve sermons, these kinds of things, slowly turning up the heat and making it a ‘Chinese’ church, not a church of Jesus,” he added.
For Thomas Muller, analyst of World Watch List which is the research unit of Open Doors, “The preferred line of thinking is emphasized by introducing President Xi Jinping’s own brand of ‘political thought’ into the Party constitution, tying ideology closer to the budding personality cult around him.” There’s also a book that was published by the Central Party School that requires all students to learn from the experiences of President Xi when he was a teenager during the Cultural Revolution.