China emphasizes more Marxism, tightens control over religion

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The Chinese Communist Party’s national conference on religious affairs led by President Xi Jinping has emphasized strict implementation of Marxist policies, increased online surveillance and tighter control of religion to ensure national security.

At the conference in Beijing on Dec. 3-4, Xi stressed the importance of “supporting the principle of the development of religions in the Chinese context and providing active guidance for the adaptation of religions to the socialist society,” according to a statement from the CCP.

Xi said China will further encourage the sinicization of religion, with a focus on tightening control over religious affairs online, and insisted that all religious activities must be carried out within the bounds of the law. , reports the Xinhua news agency.

“It is necessary to cultivate a team of party and government cadres who are familiar with Marxist religious views, are familiar with religious work and know how to work with believers, and let them study Marxist religious views, theories and policies of the CCP religious work, and religious knowledge,” he said.

Xi also called for the “full and faithful” implementation of the CCP’s theory on religious affairs in the new era, the Basic Policy on Religious Affairs and the Policy on Freedom of Religious Belief, based on Marxism.

“All religious groups are required to strengthen their self-governance and emphasize the need to improve the rule of law in the governance of religious affairs,” he said.

Under Xi’s rule, the CCP leadership has passed repressive legislation and policies to tighten control over religions

Bitter Winter reported that Xi lamented that internet monitoring to prevent religious propaganda and inappropriate remarks on social media is still not working properly.

He called for more monitoring and punishment of believers who use social media to proselytize religion or criticize government religious policy.

The conference brought together all senior CCP leaders, who agreed with Xi’s view that while there has been progress in implementing policies on religious affairs, problems remain. .

The CCP leadership has decided that the five state-sanctioned religious organizations should develop a “religious theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics” so that religions can learn to conduct business in their places of worship and accept that they should not not “interfere with the social life” and education of the younger generations.

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Observers say the outcome of the conference is likely to instill more fear among religious groups in a country where they have faced increasing repression since Xi Jinping became president in 2013.

Officially, Communist China is an atheist state, but it recognizes the legal identity of five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism and Islam. All recognized religions and religious activities are strictly controlled by state-sanctioned bodies.

Under Xi’s rule, the CCP leadership adopted repressive legislation and policies to tighten control over religions.

Religious organizations and clergy are subject to scrutiny and punishment if they breach various laws governing religious groups, including the Religious Affairs Regulations 2018. The rules require all religious organizations and clergy to be registered with the state and prohibit any activity that the state deems illegal and unauthorized.

In addition, all religious groups are required to implement the policy of sinicization, a deeply political ideology that seeks to impose strict rules on societies and institutions based on the core values ​​of socialism, self-reliance, and support for the leadership of the CCP.

China’s crackdown on religious freedom has drawn international condemnation for years. Since 1999, China has been designated as a “country of particular concern” in the annual reports of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom for serious violations of religious freedom.

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