Government officials in Jiangxi province have pledged to help Christians living in poverty under the condition that they reject their faith, follow communism and replace their pictures of Jesus with pictures of President Xi Jinping.
While authorities claim the Christians are voluntarily replacing their religious images, believers have reportedly been visited by Communist Party officials checking to make sure the images have been replaced.
These recent actions are linked to new regulations on religion that were implemented in the name of national security. The regulations prohibit unregistered religious groups from teaching about religion or participating in meetings outside the country. In addition, an ordinance scheduled to take effect in February will impose hefty fines on organisers of unapproved religious activities, another sign of increasing scrutiny of Christians.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA