A communist textbook that's being used in Chinese schools falsifies the biblical account found in John 8:3–11. The textbook claims that Jesus murdered the woman who was found in adultery and said He, too, is a sinner.
The textbook, published by the government-run University of Electronic Science and Technology Press, states: “The crowd wanted to stone the woman to death as per their law. But Jesus said, ‘Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.’ Hearing this, they slipped away one by one. When the crowd disappeared, Jesus stoned the sinner to death, saying, ‘I too am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead.’”
Catholics in mainland China are distressed about the distortion of the biblical account, reports UCA News.
“I want everyone to know that the Chinese Communist Party has always tried to distort the history of the Church, to slander our Church, and to make people hate our Church,” a parishioner who uploaded the textbook on social media was quoted as saying in his post.
Another Catholic in mainland China, who was identified only as Paul, was quoted as saying, “The same pattern has been repeated every year but the Church has never fought back or received the respect and apology it deserves.”
The news of the distortion of the Bible in the Chinese textbook comes as the Vatican and China are expected to renew a deal on the appointment of Catholic bishops in China. The United States has advised Pope Francis against it due to the severe violation of human rights and religious freedom in the communist country.
Bitter Winter, a magazine that reports on religious liberty and human rights in China, noted the subtle objective behind manipulating the textbook.
“The story teaches that the law and the (Chinese Communist) Party are good and pure, and transcend the impure human beings who happen to represent them. Even if the officers are corrupted, their decision should be accepted—because, honest or corrupted, they represent the Party, and the Party’s law should never be questioned,” the magazine writes.
Here’s what John 8:3–11 says in the Bible: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now, what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
“But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
“At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’
“‘No one, sir,’ she said.
“‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’”
The magazine reported earlier that children were also being taught to oppose religion, encouraged to question the beliefs of family members and report those closest to them to authorities.
China has been cracking down on underground churches and Christian activists for years.
In 2015, more than 1,000 crosses were removed from church roofs and entire church buildings were destroyed across the Zhejiang province.
The Chinese government continued its campaign against Christianity during the country’s coronavirus outbreak by destroying crosses and demolishing a church while people were on lockdown.
More than 60 million Christians live in China, at least half of whom worship in unregistered or so-called illegal underground churches.
China is ranked as one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians, according to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List.