Xu Xiaohong is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and chairman of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China (National TSPM). [Photo provided to cppcc.gov.cn]
Xu Xiaohong (right) talks with religious believers in the ethnic minority area of Southwest China's Yunnan province. [Photo provided to cppcc.gov.cn]
Xu Xiaohong visits religious believers of ethnic groups in Southwest China's Yunnan province, helping them solve their problems. [Photo provided to cppcc.gov.cn]
Xu Xiaohong, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and chairman of the National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China (National TSPM), has always put his love for the country and his religion first and has lead religious believers to adhere to the three-self principle through the 15 years of him serving as a CPPCC member, making his contribution to adapting Christianity to the Chinese context and the socialist new era.
Taking the promotion of sinicization of Christianity as a main responsibility
Taking responsibility and making high-quality performance and suggestions are Xu's requirements of himself as a CPPCC member. As a CPPCC member of the participating group of religious bodies, he regards the unswerving promotion of the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China as his holy mission.
Because of Xu's long consideration on the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China, he has expressed his views many times at the relevant conferences of the CPPCC National Committee, gaining praise from leaders of the CPPCC National Committee and the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee.
"It is of great encouragement to me. It shows that my work over the years has been recognized, just as it also demonstrated the trust CPPCC leaders have in me," Xu said.
On March 11, 2019, Xu delivered a speech at the Great Hall of the People on "Adhering to the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China and making it suitable for a socialist society".
He firmly expressed the standing point that Christianity in China must stay in line with the country's ideology and social development.
As head of a national religious group, Xu presided over the formulation of the outline of the five-year plan for pushing forward the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China (2018-22), and gave new interpretations to the classic religious doctrine, promoting the construction of a theological ideological system with Chinese characteristics.
Spreading the voice of Chinese religion
Xu said that Chinese religion should make its own voice. "In my future work, I will tell the stories around me to Western Christians in order to tell Chinese stories."
While spreading China's voice to other countries, Xu has also shared many stories of patriots in Christianity standing together and weathering storms with the CPC, as well as the journey of Christianity in China adhering to the "Three-Self" patriotic path since the founding of the People's Republic of China.
In Xu's opinion, sharing these stories of patriots of various religions during CPPCC members' reading activities can pass down the love for the country and religion, which was of great significance. In recent years, he has collected and compiled the Chinese Christianity predecessors' stories of patriotism and love for religion, and published a book named Side with the motherland.
There are so many moving stories in the participating group of religious bodies, which should be known by more people. Xu said he would collect more stories to give more people an in-depth understanding of the history of Chinese Christianity.
Bridging the Party and government with religious people
It is Xu's responsibility to reflect the needs of religious people to the Party and government, and to unite religious people around the Party and the government. He said that he believed a CPPCC member should publicize the ideas of the central government to religious people through frequent contact at the grassroots level and learn about their thoughts and needs.
With Xu's suggestion, the National TSPM and the China Christian Council (CCC) set up a publicity group for the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China, which publicizes the latest Chinese content to religious believers in community-based churches.
In recent years, the National TSPM and the CCC also have published many collections to help more religious believers learn about the profound meaning of the indigenization and contextualization of Christianity in China. Xu has also advocated Chinese expressions of Christianity on many occasions. He suggested that church buildings adopt more Chinese architectural styles and traditional Chinese decorations, and the hymns be modified to have a more Chinese style.
"As CPPCC members, we should bridge between the Party and the government and religious believers, solving problems for the government and the people," Xu said.
Xu said that serving as a bridge not only includes conveying the concerns and policies of the Party and the government to the religious, but also collecting feedback on religious people's problems and needs and delivering them to the Party and the government.
Fulfilling the duty for the country and the people
This year is the 15th year for Xu to serve as a CPPCC member. From a "freshman" of the CPPCC to a winner of the 2022 outstanding performance award of CPPCC members, Xu said that he has witnessed the progress of many CPPCC members, including himself.
"In the past, CPPCC members focused more on their own participating group, but now, we are usually concerned about social hot issues and problems, which has broadened our minds and improved our capacity," Xu added.
In recent years, more and more platforms, such as the CPPCC members reading group, the publicity group of major special work and the special consultation meeting, have provided Xu with the opportunity to participate in and discuss State affairs.
During his years as a CPPCC member, Xu has put forward many proposals, with most receiving responses, which has increased his enthusiasm to participate in and discuss State affairs.
"In the future, I will fulfill my duty with greater focus and efficiency," as a veteran CPPCC member, Xu vowed to take his responsibility with a heart full of love for the country and the people.
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