Chi­nese com­mu­nists must be wary of re­li­gion, party news­pa­per warns

The Irish Times - - World News - CLIF­FORD COONAN in Bei­jing

The Peo­ple’s Daily, the of­fi­cial news­pa­per of China’s rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party, has warned cadres against pray­ing to God and wor­ship­ping Bud­dha, say­ing re­li­gion and su­per­sti­tion were the source of much cor­rup­tion within the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“Every party mem­ber should be a firm ma­te­ri­al­ist and athe­ist, but in re­cent years, many cor­rupt of­fi­cials have been taken down be­cause of feu­dal su­per­sti­tious ac­tiv­i­ties,” the pa­per said. There has been a ma­jor crack­down on civil so­ci­ety ahead of next week’s Com­mu­nist Party congress, which is ex­pected to ce­ment Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s grip on power. The party has also been tight­en­ing its own dis­ci­plinary reg­u­la­tions ahead of the twice-a-decade gath­er­ing.

China of­fi­cially tol­er­ates the ob­ser­vance of Bud­dhism and ma­jor re­li­gious or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Chris­tian­ity and Is­lam, but they are strictly con­trolled in gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Com­mu­nist Party mem­bers are of­fi­cially sup­posed to be athe­ists and re­li­gious ob­ser­vance is frowned upon, es­pe­cially tra­di­tional re­li­gious prac­tices such as feng shui ge­o­mancy and for­tune-telling. In Xin­jiang prov­ince, where the in­dige­nous Uighurs are largely Mus­lim, there are lim­its on party mem­bers ob­serv­ing feasts.

Cit­ing the quote from Karl Marx – “Com­mu­nism be­gins where athe­ism be­gins” – the news­pa­per pro­ceeded to list some ex­am­ples where com­mu­nist stal­warts were brought low by re­li­gious fer­vour.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.