Religious groups must promote Chinese culture and become more compatible with socialism, top Politburo official Yu Zhengsheng has told faith leaders, as Beijing circulated orders for retired party cadres to shun all religious activity.
Yu said religious leaders were to form a “bridge” between the Communist Party and hundreds of millions of Chinese that follow the country’s five officially recognized religions — Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism and Taoism.
“[Yu] called on religious groups in China to continue adding Chinese characteristics, dig into positive elements in their religions and make more effort in building a religious ideology with Chinese characteristics,” reported state news agency Xinhua.
Yu was flanked by Vice Premier Liu Yandong and Sun Chunlan, head of the United Work Front Department which manages relations with faith groups, at the highest-level meeting between senior officials and religious leaders in months. National broadcaster CCTV broadcast Yu’s instructions on its evening bulletin on Feb. 4.
Liu Yuanlong, who took part in his role as vice director of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, was not immediately available for comment.
Beijing has repeatedly postponed a major meeting on religion that was due to be chaired by President Xi Jinping at the end of last year with no explanation given. Delays may be due to problems drawing up a cohesive religious blueprint for the whole country, according to analysts.
Read more at UCA News.