Nov 17, 2017

Chinese officials urge Christians to replace symbols of Jesus with Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Kham Pool via AP

China is far from having a cult of Xi that comes anything close to the cult of Mao that led to the disastrous Cultural Revolution, but some of the signs are worrisome. Ucanews reports that local officials in Jiangxi province offered poverty relief aid in exchange for Christian residents to replace religious images with posters of Xi.

Key quote: "The message from officials stated that the Christians involved had 'recognized their mistakes and decided not to entrust to Jesus but to the (Communist) Party' claiming the Christians voluntarily removed 624 religious images and posted 453 portraits of Xi."

Quick take: Local officials doing this likely see it as double-win:

  • They get to show they are cracking down on foreign religions.
  • They demonstrate loyalty while disseminating the Party's good news.

Also: Last week another set of local officials made a pilgrimage to a tree Xi had planted several years earlier. They admired the "big, verdant and tall...Xi Paulownia tree" before retaking the oath to join the Communist Party, the Guardian reported.

Go deeper

Indians look to Taiwan amid China's coronavirus missteps

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many Indians are angry at China and the World Health Organization for their perceived mishandling of the coronavirus. The efficiency and transparency of Taiwan's response to the epidemic, in contrast, has made it a topic of renewed sympathy and interest in India.

Why it matters: The coronavirus crisis is showcasing Taiwan's democratic system of governance on an international stage, the biggest soft power win for the country in years.

Go deeperArrow17 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 1,447,466 — Total deaths: 83,471 — Total recoveries: 308,215Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 399,929 — Total deaths: 12,911 — Total recoveries: 22,539Map.
  3. 2020 latest: The results for Wisconsin's primary elections won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  4. Federal government latest: The U.S. has begun to see "glimmers of hope" despite its highest recorded number of deaths in 24 hours, Anthony Fauci said.
  5. Public health latest: Surgeon General Jerome Adams highlighted the disproportionate impact the illness is having on African-American communities.
  6. 🚌 Public transit: Systems across the country are experiencing ridership collapse, squeezed funding streams and slow recovery from the pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Largest 24-hour spike in fatalities

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll from the novel coronavirus surged to its highest one-day total on Tuesday, as the U.S. saw its largest 24-hour spike in fatalities, per Johns Hopkins data. Recorded deaths across the U.S. surpassed 12,900 Wednesday.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions decrease.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 50 mins ago - Health