Communist Party, the ruling party of China, has asked its 90 million members to give up religion and “be firm Marxist atheists” to maintain the unity of the party. The party has asserted that for its members, religious belief is a “red line” and those who resist the order would be punished.
In the latest issue of ‘Qiushi Journal’, the flagship magazine of the party, Wang Zuoan, the director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, has written that party members should not have religious beliefs which is a “red line for all members”.
Wang further 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.
The ruling Communist Party of China is officially atheist but according to the Constitution of the country, people have “freedom of religious belief”.
As per a report by the Times of India, the Council of Foreign Relations, a US think-tank, says that by and large, the Communist Party has showed cautious tolerance for religion but has constrained its 90 million members from maintaining religious beliefs.
Wang’s comments are in consonance with the official rules of the party, and playing them back, Wang said,
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.
Wang also said that in order to “infiltrate China”, some “foreign forces” are using religion which is posing a threat to the national security and social stability of the country.