Xi Jinping stresses developing religions in Chinese context

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed upholding the principle of developing religions in the Chinese context and providing active guidance for the adaptation of religions to a socialist society.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at a two-day national conference on religious affairs, which concluded on Saturday here in Beijing.

He said China should fully, accurately and comprehensively implement the Party’s policy on freedom of religious belief, to respect its citizens’ religious beliefs, manage religious affairs in accordance with laws, uphold the principle of independence and self-management, and provide active guidance to religions so that they can adapt themselves to the socialist society.

Xi stressed that the country’s religions should be developed in the Chinese context and called for efforts to guide and support the faiths to be led by the core socialist values.

Efforts should also be made to improve the religious circle’s and their followers’ approval of the motherland, the Chinese nation, the Chinese culture, the CPC, and socialism with Chinese characteristics, said Xi.

He said the religious circle should also be guided to improve their self-education, self-management and self-discipline.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang presided over the meeting, which was also attended by other top leaders, including Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng.

The major religions practiced in China are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism, which had nearly 200 million believers and more than 380,000 clerical personnel, according to a white paper issued in April 2018.

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