On July 8, 2021, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, i.e., the government-controlled Protestant Church, and China Christian Council, which supervises education in the Three-Self churches, held a national conference. It was chaired by Xu Xiaohong, chairman of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee, and by Wu Wei, chairman of the China Christian Council. The theme of the conference was “Learning and Implementing the Spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Speech of July 1.”
July 1 was the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and Xi Jinping pronounced a defiant speech, celebrating the Marxist roots and nature of the CCP, and threatening the West and Taiwan.
At the conference, participants were told that pastors in the Three-Self churches are expected to make Xi Jinping’s July 1 speech a main object of study for themselves and for the devotees participating in Bible study groups, and preach it in their sermons. Those who would fail to do so would prove that their churches are not “sinicized,” which is a necessary condition to be “allowed to survive.”
Pastors and Three-Self church bureaucrats also received some practical guidance on what parts of Xi Jinping’s “historical” speech should be emphasized. Addressing the conference, Chairman Wu Wei of China Christian Council, asked the pastors to insist on the fact that “the Chinese Communist Party has never changed its original intention to put the people first, establish an extensive patriotic united front, unite the citizens’ hearts, gather strength, and continue to explore and innovate.” Pastors should lead Christians in “thanking God for putting us in this great era” and “continuing to learn the spirit of General Secretary Xi’s speech.”