08/27/2018, 16.37
CHINA
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Beijing starts new crackdown on party members who must choose between faith and Party

Those with "strong religious beliefs" must be re-educated or expelled. Spreading "political rumours" and distorting the country’s history are banned.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China’s ruling Communist Party has issued a revised set of regulations governing members’ behaviour, noting that the latter must give up their religious beliefs and refrain from spreading “political rumours or damage the party’s unity”.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection released the new rules yesterday, but their implementation had already started on 18 August and represent practices already in place for some time.

Violating these rules is generally punished with expulsion from the Communist Party. In case laws are broken, criminal prosecution may follow.

“Party members who have religious belief should have strengthened thought education. If they still don’t change after help and education from the party organisation, they should be encouraged to leave the party,” the new rules say.

Another new clause calls for punishment of those who “distort” the history of the country, rather than just party or military history as before.

The new disciplinary framework is part of the Party’s strict control of its me members, who are not allowed to belong to a religion even after retirement.

According to data from a few years ago, almost a quarter of Party members hold some religious beliefs.

Since he came to power a few years ago, President Xi Jinping has led a campaign to control Party members, fight corruption (often at the expense of his political rival), and crack down on religion.

The Communist Party has also pursue a policy of sinicisation of various religious so as to assimilate them into Chinese culture and society and, above all, subordinating them to the Party.

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