Sinicization “is a trap”, a way to “intimidate the Catholic Church”; it has the purpose of “distorting the creed of all religious communities” in China. These are the thoughts of two Chinese Catholics, Peter of Hebei, and Paul of Shaanxi referring to the program wanted by Xi Jinping to assimilate religions to Chinese culture and society, a program that provides for submission to the Communist Party and verification of assimilation by the Patriotic Association (PA), the Party’s long arm over religious communities. The PA and the Council of Bishops have already prepared a five-year plan for the implementation of sinicization. By the end of August, every diocese in China will have to present its plan at a diocesan level.
If the red flag – a symbol of communist power – takes the place of the crucifix in the church; if people have to sing the national anthem before mass; if the priest glorifies the atheist party in his homily; if the police have to register all the faithful who enter the places of worship, who will want to participate anymore in religious activities?