Leave religion, or face punishment: Chinese Communist PartyLast updated on Jul 19, 2017, 03:36 pm
The Chinese Communist Party (CPC), infamous for its religious intolerance, recently issued a strict directive to its members to 'give up religion and become firm Marxists or face punishment.
Writing in the Party's flagship magazine, the State Administration for Religious Affairs director, Wang Zuoan notes, 'religion is a red line for all members.'
The Party officially doesn't recognize religion.
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Communist Party of China
The CPC founded the People's Republic of China (PRC) after the Cultural Revolution in 1949 led by Mao Zedong. It also commands the People's Liberation Army.
The CPC is notorious for its ruthless suppression of opposition and has taken a harsh action against separatist movements in Tibet and Xinjiang.
Under Xi Jinping, the Party has started cracking down on corrupt officials within the government.
Chinese Communist Party's approach to religion
While the Chinese Constitution allows for all its citizens to have 'Freedom of religion', the Party does not allow its members to hold religious beliefs. It has at times demanded for members with affiliations to religious organizations to be expelled.
Why is the Party toughening its stance against religion?
An official source notes that members following religious beliefs would undermine the Party's values based on dialectical materialism, damaging its unity.
Wang, the author, notes that 'foreign forces may infiltrate China under the garb of religion and threaten its national security'.
He further notes that religion could be used to aggravate already prevailing extremist movements, thereby threatening national security.