The Communist Party of China (CPC) is reinforcing a point that keeps members from any external forces which may influence their moral values, with a big focus on religion.
In a recent announcement, members and officials belonging to China’s ruling Party have been warned that those who refuse to let go of their religious beliefs will be punished.
Aimed to prevent subversion, the Party’s ban on religion was announced earlier this week, reports the Global Times.
The State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) director Wang Zuoan stressed the importance of atheism in keeping the Communist Party’s “strength and integrity” intact.
“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,” he was quoted as saying.
He also added how “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.”
Members of the CPC are no longer allowed to participate in any form of religious activity, regardless of the objective.
Ethnic and Religious Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference chairman Zhu Weiqun pointed out that being religious may fundamentally jeopardize the CPC.
Zhu told Global Times that Party officials who have supported religious practices have “undermined the Party’s values based on dialectical materialism.”
The announcement further validates the Chinese government’s stand how Party members are not supposed to enjoy some religious freedom it provides its citizens.
A crackdown on religious behavior among members has actually been initiated by the atheist Party a couple of years ago.
A CPC newsletter stated in 2015 that, “Chinese citizens have the freedom of religious belief, but Communist Party members aren’t the same as regular citizens; they are fighters in the vanguard for a communist consciousness.”
As to how the state work with a religious citizenry, Zuoan had this to say: “Religions should be sinicized. We should guide religious groups and individuals with socialist core values and excellent traditional Chinese culture and support religious groups to dig into their doctrines to find parts that are beneficial to social harmony and development.”
Feature Image via Wikimedia Commons / Dong Fang