China might be an economic superpower so wealthy that even U.S. President Donald Trump had to behave during his visit to the Middle Kingdom. It was said that the notorious Kim Jong-un was kept in silent not because he was terrified that North Korea was surrounded by U.S. warships, but rather because China told the regime not to provoke the U.S. while Xi was hosting Trump.

However, due to the massive population – 1.4 billion – not every single Chinese made it to the fountain of wealth. While there were as many as 564,708 homeless in America, there are millions of Chinese who live below the country’s official poverty line. In Yugan county of Jiangxi province, more than 11% of its 1-million population belong to this poor category.

Close to 10% of the population in Yugan county are Christians. But there’s a reason why the Chinese Christians here are dead poor. Like many rural people, including those who believe in other Gods, they are ignorant. They think God is their saviour hence had done nothing extra to improve their poverty other than praying to their God, when things get tough.

Christians in China - Holding Candles

However, as Christianity spread rapidly in China, poor rural villagers would normally get influenced easily. Like Islam, China has very little appetite for Christianity too. President Xi Jinping has made it a top priority to end poverty by 2020. After elevated to a level of political deification unseen in the Middle Kingdom since Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, Xi is now like a Demi-God.

In his newfound power, party delegates voted unanimously – the entire 2,336 votes – to make “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” part of the nation’s constitution. In other words, President Xi Jinping can be China Emperor for life – staying in power as long as his health allows, similarly to Deng Xiaoping.

Still, that doesn’t mean Mr. Xi is forever immortal. Like God of Prosperity, he needs to keep his supporters and worshippers happy. And in order to counter the influence of Christianity, a campaign was launched targeting thousands of Christians in the impoverished country – worships Xi Jinping, not JesusChrist – a transformation which involves taking down posters of Jesus and putting up portraits of Xi.

Replacing Jesus Christ with Xi Jinping - Putting Up Poster

As part of a local government poverty-relief programme, the poor Christian rural villagers were convinced to shift their belief in religion to a new belief – in the Chinese Communist Party. Many believers have been reportedly told to take down the images of Jesus and the crosses, and in its place hang portraits of Xi Jinping instead.

According to SCMP, government officials had over the weekend successfully “melted the hard ice in their hearts” and “transformed them from believing in religion to believing in the party”. As a result, more than 600 villagers “voluntarily” got rid of the religious texts and paintings they had in their homes, and replaced them with 453 portraits of Xi.

The marketing point was – if they (rural poor Christians) want prosperity, President Xi Jinping is the only person who can help eradicate poverty, not Jesus Christ. Qi Yan, chairman of the Huangjinbu people’s congress said – “Many poor households have plunged into poverty because of illness in the family. Some resorted to believing in Jesus to cure their illnesses.”

Replacing Jesus Christ with Xi Jinping - Putting Up Poster at Home

Mr. Qi explained – “But we tried to tell them that getting ill are a physical thing and that the people who can really help them are the Communist Party and General Secretary Xi. Many rural people are ignorant. They think God is their saviour. After our assistance, they realize their mistakes and think – we should no longer rely on Jesus, but on the party for help.”

The Yugan’s Huangjinbu Township where Mr. Qi is the person in charge of the poverty-relief campaign is also home to about 5,000 to 6,000 Christian families. He claimed his officers had distributed more than 1,000 portraits of Xi, and that all of them had been hung in residents’ homes. However, some residents said they were being forced to “worship” Xi.

A resident of another township in Yugan, surnamed Liu, claimed that many believers did not do so voluntarily. Instead, he said – “They all have their belief and, of course, they didn’t want to take them down. But there is no way out. If they don’t agree to do so, they won’t be given their quota from the poverty-relief fund.

Jesus Christ and Xi Jinping

Qi Yan, of course, rubbished claims that money was used as carrot to force Christians to take down religious posters. He said – “We only asked them to take down [religious] posters in the centre of the home. They can still hang them in other rooms. They still have the freedom to believe in religion, but in their minds they should [also] trust our party.”

Does this mean Xi Jinping is more powerful than Jesus Christ? Based on the willingness of the Christians to sacrifice their belief in exchange for money, obviously President Xi has done a better job. The only people who get rich in the business of religion are those who collect donations on behalf of God, such as the theft and scam of Singapore Mega City Harvest Church.

– Finance Twitter