Shaanxi Bible School

The Shaanxi Bible School, located in Xixian New Area, is in the forefront of “Sinicization,” i.e., of adapting its programs and activities to the aims and ideology of the Chinese Communist Party. It also maintains a “cosmetic” ecumenical dialogue with, and receives support from, Western churches that fail to see the true nature of the Three-Self Church as a puppet of the regime.

On May 31, 2023, Shaanxi Bible School held a study session with the nice title “Singing the Main Theme and Praising the New Era.” The aim was to study the main speeches and conclusions of the 20th National Congress of the CCP.

Having watched videos of the 20th Congress, students sang patriotic songs, including “Sing a Folk Song for the Party,” and, in the world of a press release, “expressed their love for the motherland and the CCP.”

The School was also asked to honor three revolutionary heroes, whose lives were narrated by three students. Interestingly, these are three figures who supported Chairman Mao and betrayed Christianity to become staunch supporters of the CCP.

From left to right, Ma Ke (1918–1976), Luo Jinwen (1914–1939), and Bishop Shen Zigao (1895–1982). From Weibo.
From left to right, Ma Ke (1918–1976), Luo Jinwen (1914–1939), and Bishop Shen Zigao (1895–1982). From Weibo.

Composer Ma Ke is known for his revolutionary song “Nanniwan,” a CCP favorite that was sung by the students at the end of the study session. He was raised as a Christian (his parents wanted his full name to sound like “Mark” to honor Saint Mark) but became a Communist, moved to Yan’an, and was for many years the regime’s official composer.

Medical doctor Luo Jinwen is honored by the CCP as a martyr as he died of exhaustion while performing surgeries for long hours on those wounded in the anti-Japanese fight in Shaanxi. He was given by his Christian parents the name of Mark, and attended an Anglican, school but also switched to a true belief in the cause of the revolution, at least according to the official biographies.

The third honored hero, Bishop Shen Zigao, was a prominent figure in China’s Anglican Church, who betrayed his fellow Christians and sided with the CCP, eventually joining the Party-controlled Three-Self Church. His son Shen Yifan also became a bishop and a leader of the Three-Self Church.

We can understand what kind of Christianity is taught to Bible School students in China. Their role models are Christians who either joined the CCP and abandoned Christianity altogether or converted their churches into obedient tools of the party.