There are some 90 million members of China’s Communist Party, and all of them now have been banned from having religious beliefs.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Wang Zuoan of the repressive nation’s State Administration for Religious Affairs announced that CPC members must be atheists.
“Party members should not have religious beliefs, which is a red line for all members,” he wrote. “Party members should be firm Marxist atheists, obey party rules and stick to the party’s faith … they are not allowed to seek value and belief in religion.”
His comments were reported in the CPC’s journal Qiushi, which deals with political theory.
According to the Christian Institute in the United Kingdom, Wang promised if there are party members with religious faith should be persuaded to give it up, “and those who resisted would be punished.”
Se Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Committee, responded to Wang’s regulations by referring to Christianity as part of “China’s religious problem.”
“Christianity in China has been accused of being a national security risk, and in the past few years, hundreds of Christian pastors and activists have been arrested,” the report continued.
The Christian Institute noted the international freedom watchdog Freedom House said in March that as many as 100 million people in China “are facing ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels of persecution under communist rule.”
Christianity, however, is surging in China.
The institute said “academics predict that by 2030 China will have more than 247 million Christians, which would be more than 17 percent of the … population.”
Wang insisted, however, that religious groups should be “guided” by the state and alter their doctrine to promote “socialist core values.”
China officially is atheist. But the communist-controlled government recognizes five faiths: Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Protestantism and Catholicism.
Wang’s comments echoed President Xi Jinping.
“We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means and prevent ideological infringement by extremists,” Xi said.
Wang wrote: “We should guide religious groups and individuals with socialist core values and excellent traditional Chinese culture and support religious groups to dig into their doctrines to find parts that are beneficial to social harmony and development.”