To boost national security, Chinese President Xi Jinping calls for tighter control over religious affairstext_fields
In a recent speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for tighter control of religious affairs, including the "sinicization" of faiths, which means aligning them with the policies of the ruling Communist Party.
According to a 2019 official white paper, China has 200 million believers, with most of them Buddhists from Tibet. There are also 20 million Muslims, 38 million Protestant Christians, and 6 million Catholic Christians, along with 140,000 places of worship in the country.
Communist Party of China (CPC) chairman Xi Jinping, 68, is widely expected to be this country's leader for life, calling for "sinicization" of religions, preparing them to function under the guidance of the CPC, ideologically continues to be atheist
Xi, in the national conference, told that it is important to improve the democratic supervision of religious leaders, to promote the rule of law in religious work, and to engage in in-depth publicity and education regarding the rule of law.
Experts said the conference, attended by China's top leaders, set the parameters for China's religious affairs and their regulation over the next few years.
State-run Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying China will continue to promote "sinicization of religion", emphasizing improving controls over online religious activities, pointing out that it is essential to respect the principle of religious freedom in China. He said the party's policy on freedom of religion should be completely and faithfully implemented, and religious groups should act as a bridge and a connection between the party and the government and a broad cross-section of people in religious circles.
According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the meeting took place amid widespread accusations of China's repressive control over Muslims and Christians.
A number of countries, including China, were deemed "countries of particular concern" by the US for violations of religious freedom last month. China has also been accused of applying repressive religious policies against the Uyghurs of restive Xinjiang province, which amounts to genocide.
The CPC apprehends foreign religions, especially Christianity, fearing subversion of its rule, like in Poland, where the Church movement was instrumental in overthrowing Communist rule in 1989. In his speech, President Xi also mentioned that the motherland, the Chinese nation, the Chinese culture, the CPC, and socialism with Chinese characteristics should continue to be elevated among religious figures and believers.
He said that religious personages and believers should cultivate socialist values, put them into practice and promote Chinese culture.
Religion should be conducted within the scope of the laws and regulations, Xi said. It should not damage the health of citizens or disrupt the public order, nor should it interfere with educational, judicial or administrative matters or with social life.