April 8,2018--Chen Zongrong, former deputy director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, attends a news conference on China’s religious policies on April 3, 2018. (Photo by Yuan Shaoda)
April 8,2018--The State Council Information Office released the White Paper titled China's Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief on Tuesday.
Chen Zongrong, former deputy director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, said that the protection of freedom of religious belief with Chinese characteristics has been based on the great strides made in religious policies and practices and rich experience accumulated in religious affairs.
The Chinese characteristics of the freedom of religious belief can be seen in Chinese history, policies and laws, previous practices in religious affairs and self-examination and independence of religious groups.
Firstly, China’s protection on freedom of religious belief takes root in profound Chinese history and culture. Since ancient times, China has always been a multi-religions country with an existence of various religious beliefs.
Secondly, China’s protection on freedom of religious belief benefits from the objective, equal, balanced and comprehensive policies and laws on religion.
Thirdly, China’s protection on freedom of religious belief develops from rich practices of religious affairs. The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have attached great importance to the religious work, which is considered as a priority in national governance. Specialized policies and regulations, as well as institutions have been established to carefully deal with religious issues and affairs in accordance with the law and protect the lawful rights of religious circles.
Lastly, China’s protection on freedom of religious belief is also gained from the self-examination and independence of religious circles. China has strengthened the self-management of religious circles and improved the civic, legal and political awareness of religious believers. Religions in China have adapted to the socialist society to a higher extent. Different religious groups respect and learn from each other, and a new realm of “five religions (Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism) working together to achieve harmony” has taken shape.
By: Ma Yangyang