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China’s Religious Czar Emphasizes Party Control over Religion

Wang Zuo’an, deputy chief of the Chinese Communist Party’s Department of United Front Work and director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA), published an article in the official Qiushi magazine, asserting that foreign forces are not allowed to dominate China’s religious affairs; he called for “Sinicization.”

The article stated that there is no affiliation between Chinese religions and foreign religions. Chinese religious groups and religious affairs are not subject to foreign influence. “When dealing with religious relations, one must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party, insist on the separation of church and state, and make sure religion must not be involved in administrative, judicial, and educational functions.” “It is necessary to persist in resisting foreign forces that use religion as a means of infiltration.”

According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News), by the end of this month, all Catholic parishes in China must submit a five-year plan to the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA) and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC) and report on the work of “Sinicization.” The CPCA and the BCCCC also drafted a five-year national work plan with the objective of accepting the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. All measures of “Sinicization” ought to be under the leadership and supervision of the CPCA and the BCCCC. UCA News expressed the belief that the plan and measures are intended to control and deal with opposition from nonconforming Catholic followers in China.

Source: Radio Free Asia, August 19, 2018