Chinese communists must be wary of religion, party newspaper warns
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.