According to Bitter Winter, an organization monitoring religious freedom in China, Communist China Party officials have told Christians in the city of Linfen that their welfare funding will be cut if they don’t replace images of Jesus in their home with photos of either Mao Zedong or the communist party’s current despot, President Xi Jinping.
Linfen is a poor city and many need government assistance to survive. In some instances, Christians are also being pressured to renounce their faith to continue receiving their welfare.
Bitter Winter writes:
In April, the government of a town administered by Linfen, a prefecture-level city in the northern province of Shanxi, called officials from all villages under its jurisdiction for a meeting. The participants were ordered to remove crosses, religious symbols and images from the homes of people of faith who receive social welfare payments and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping. The officials were instructed to annul the subsidies to those who protest the order.
But in some instances, it even went further than that as Christians were told to worship Mao and Jinping:
In mid-May, an official from a village administered by Heze city in the eastern province of Shandong stormed into the home of a local Christian and posted portraits of Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping. “These are the greatest Gods. If you want to worship somebody, they are the ones,” the believer recalled the official saying as he was attaching the portraits to the wall.
In his vision of the end-times, found in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John warned that in the end times, people would be required to worship the beast:
8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)
Though I don’t believe what is happening in parts of Communist China is necessarily a literal fulfillment of this verse, it shows how easily it could happen under the right circumstances and tyrant.