- The Chinese Communist Party is officially atheist
- It forbids its 90 million members from holding religious beliefs
- However China’s constitution explicitly allows “freedom of religious belief”
NEW DELHI: Members of China’s Communist Party need to give up religion and “be firm Marxist atheists” or face punishment, the country’s religious affairs regulator has said, reported Global Times.
The Chinese Communist Party is officially atheist, but China’s constitution explicitly allows “freedom of religious belief”.
“Party members should not have religious beliefs, which is a red line for all members”, wrote Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, in the latest issue of the Party’s flagship magazine.
Wang’s comments are line with official Party rules. The Party has by and large exhibited a cautious tolerance towards religion but it prohibits its nearly 90 million Party members from holding religious beliefs, says the Council on Foreign relations, a US think tank. The Party has often demanded the expulsion of members who belong to religious organizations.
Wang reiterated these rules. He said Party members are forbidden from supporting or getting involved in religious affairs in the name of developing the economy or diversifying culture.
“Party members should be firm Marxist atheists, obey Party rules and stick to the Party’s faith … they are not allowed to seek value and belief in religion,” Wang said.
Another government official said that party unity is damaged and the party’s “values based on dialectical materialism” take a hit when its officials have religious faith.
“Some people who claim to be scholars support religious beliefs in the Party, which has undermined the Party’s values based on dialectical materialism,” said Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the ethnic and religious committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Wang said “foreign forces” are using religion “to infiltrate China” which is a threat to the country’s security.”Some foreign forces have used religion to infiltrate China, and extremism and illegal religious activities are spreading in some places, which have threatened national security and social stability,”
Source: Times Of India