A prominent Republican lawmaker has sounded the alarm on the persecution faced by Christians and other faiths in China, boldly asserting that Chinese President Xi Jinping is assuming the role of God.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, made these remarks during an interfaith roundtable discussion centered on the suppression of religion in China. In attendance was a Chinese pastor who had fled the communist regime after enduring severe persecution.
During the roundtable, Gallagher unequivocally stated, “Xi Jinping has no problem with the first commandment, just so long as he and the CCP are playing the role of God.” The congressman further drew attention to reports of China “rewriting the Bible.” Specifically, he referenced the Gospel of John and the account of the adulterous woman, where Jesus displayed mercy and forgiveness. However, Gallagher highlighted that for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), this story is seen as a dissident challenging the state’s authority.
He noted that a university textbook in China contained a “sneak preview” of a Bible version with socialist characteristics, which altered the ending of the Gospel of John to portray Jesus stoning the adulterous woman to death.
Additionally, Gallagher shed light on the Communist Party’s actions in the Henan Province, where they have replaced the Ten
Pastor Corey Jackson, a missionary who has served in China, spoke passionately about the unwavering faith of Chinese followers of Jesus, despite severe religious persecution. He revealed that pastors and Christians in China live with the constant uncertainty of oppression, yet they remain steadfast in their commitment to their faith. “And, quite remarkably, they are willing to face these fires,” Jackson emphasized.
Pastor Pan Yongguang, present at the event, personally experienced the persecution inflicted by the Chinese Communist Party. After enduring threats and interrogations, Pastor Yongguang fled China in 2019. During a press briefing preceding the roundtable, he called upon the United States to exert “pressure” on China to halt the persecution of Christians.
— The Select Committee on the CCP (@committeeonccp) July 12, 2023
The persecution of Christians in China has been a significant issue for several years. Each year, Open Doors, a Christian organization dedicated to supporting persecuted believers, releases the “World Watch List,” which identifies the top 50 countries with the highest levels of Christian persecution. According to the 2023 World Watch List, China ranks 16th for Christian persecution.
The country’s pervasive surveillance apparatus enables the state to monitor and shut down churches. Reports indicate that pastors and Christian leaders are often forcibly removed and subjected to months of re-education under house arrest.
These distressing realities highlight the urgent need for attention and action. As Christians, we find solace in the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
As Christians, we must stand with other believers facing persecution, lifting them up in our prayers and beseeching the Lord in heaven that they receive the strength to endure this season of trial.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.