12/06/2021, 16.20
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Xi Jinping wants to improve 'democratic' control over religions

by Li Qiang

Such a turn of phrase suggests greater repression by the Communist Party of China. Believers must join the party. Online religious activities are now a target. Religions must not interfere in the state’s administrative, judicial and educational activities, nor the country’s social life.


Beijing (AsiaNews) – Xi Jinping wants to improve the “democratic” control over religions, state news agency Xinhua reported. The Chinese president spoke over the weekend at a national religious conference, the first held in China since 2016.

On the eve of Joe Biden's democracy summit (9-10 December), Xi continues to cloak the regime's policies with the trappings of democracy, distorting for domestic use the true meaning of the term "democracy".

Democratic control over religion is nothing more than greater repression of religions by the Communist regime.

In addition, Xi said the country will further promote the “sinicisation” of religion, a process officially launched in 2015, including greater control over online religious activities.

Xi noted that religious affairs must comply with the law and without interference in the state’s administrative, judicial, and educational activities nor the country’s social life.

The South China Morning Post reported that last week the US government included China among the countries "of particular concern" for violating religious freedom.

China responded in full by publishing a very critical report on the state of democracy in the United States.

According to Beijing, US politics is dominated by money, controlled by a few people, and gridlocked by the mutual vetoes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

This is a real lesson in democracy from China’s leaders considering that the main decisions in the country are made by seven people, namely the unelected members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with one dominant figure: Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Party.

Speaking over the weekend at a religious conference chaired by Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Xi explained that religions must adapt to the fact that China is a socialist country.

According to the supreme leader, the “core” of the CPC, the masses of believers must unite around the Party and the government, and reject any foreign influence.

In February, the State Administration for Religious Affairs made public administrative rules for religious personnel, on how to manage members of the clergy (monks, priests, bishops, etc.).

In February 2018, the CPC had adopted new regulations on religious activities, whereby religious personnel can perform their functions only if they are members of official bodies and submit to the CPC.

As for the Catholic Church, the 2018 Sino-Vatican Agreement on episcopal appointments, renewed in October 2020, has not stopped the persecution of Church officials and members, especially in underground communities.

Bishop Jia Zhiguo was recently placed under house arrest as was, again, Bishop Shao Zhumin, who was later released.

Some bishops, such as Mgr Guo Xijin, have had their home utilities (water, electricity and gas) cut off, while Bishop Zhang Weizhu have been subjected to political re-education sessions.

(Photo Xinhua)

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