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Adapting religion to fit well in Chinese socialist society

China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-16 07:52

The main hall of Nanchan Temple in Wutai county is the earliest wooden structure in Asia. LU JUNHUA/FOR CHINA DAILY

China is a country where many religions-such as indigenous Taoism and Sinicized Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity-coexist.

While maintaining their core principles, these religions have always been integrated in Chinese culture.

With the establishment of its socialist system, the deepening of reform and opening-up, and the development of the socialist market economy, the class origin of religious existence has basically been eliminated in China, and religion is no longer a tool used by imperialists and feudal forces, but become a cause run by the believers themselves.

At the National Conference on Religious Work held in December, President Xi Jinping stressed the need for fully, accurately and comprehensively implementing the Party's policy on freedom of religious belief, respecting the religious beliefs of the masses, managing religious affairs in accordance with the law, and actively guiding religions to adapt to a socialist society.

This requires China to make respecting and protecting freedom of religious belief its basic policy, adhering to the administration of religious affairs in accordance with the law and the localization of religion in China its development direction, while giving full play to the positive role of religious figures and believers in promoting its economic and social development.

Religion as a historical phenomenon will exist for a long time. Therefore, China should adhere to the policy of freedom of religious belief and protect people's right to freedom of religious belief in the light of its national conditions and socialist society.

To adapt religion to the socialist society does not require religious believers to give up theistic thoughts, but requires them to politically love the motherland, support the socialist system and support the Party's leadership.

China has nearly 200 million religious believers and 144,000 lawfully registered facilities for believers to preach and carry out religious activities. To manage religious affairs according to law is a common practice in most countries, and also the only way to guide religions to adapt to a socialist society.

China protects normal religious activities and administers religious affairs in accordance with the law, but does not interfere in the internal affairs of religions. To adapt religions to a socialist society, China will mobilize the positive factors of religions and avoid the negative ones, and guide religions to serve social harmony, ethnic unity and the reunification of the motherland.

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