A US watchdog has said the Chinese government is currently rewriting the Bible to align it with Communist principles and values.
Speaking to FaithWire, spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), Todd Nettleton said the new translation would "really support the Communist Party."
"This is a project that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced in 2019. At the time, they said it would be about a 10-year process … to release a new translation of the Bible.
"He explained that the Chinese government's goal is for people to understand their ultimate goal is to be a "good communist".
In a recent Facebook post, VOM shared an example of several verses in John 8 changed according to the Chinese government. As the biblical story goes, Jesus forgives an adulterous woman despite the Pharisees' calls to stone her to death. However, in the CCP's translation, Jesus ends up stoning the woman, admitting he is also a sinner.
John 8:7-11, according to the CCP reads: "Jesus once said to the angry crowd who was trying to stone a woman who had sinned, 'He who is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.' When his words came to their ears, they stopped moving forward. When everyone went out, Jesus stoned the woman himself, and said, 'I am also a sinner.'"
Nettleton told FaithWire he thought the rewritten passage was trying to diminish Jesus' divinity.
He said: "If Jesus is a sinner, then he's not God."
"The issue for the Chinese Communist Party is control. It is always about control," Nettleton added.
"And they see the … Christian message as something that would take control away from the communist party."
Access to Bible for Chinese citizens has always been a struggle. In April last year, four Christians were sentenced to 13 years in prison for running a business that sold Bible audio players.
According to Open Doors, almost seven per cent of the country's total population is Christian.