In its paper edition on July 10, People’s Daily published three articles on managing religion. Though they still all claimed to be following the Communist Party’s leadership in the oversight of religious affairs, they mentioned something different from the Communist Party’s approach of the past 20 years.
The article “Actively Guide Religions to Adapt to Socialist Society” made the following statements:
“(We) should watch out to prevent differences in beliefs from expanding into political confrontations …”
“We must bear in mind that one cannot use administrative power and the method of struggle to eliminate religious belief.”
“We should think from the people’s angle and respect people’s own choice. That is to implement conscientiously the policy of religious freedom.”
These articles were an echo of Xi Jinping’s speech given at the National Religious Work Conference on April 23. Xi mentioned the following topics in his speech: “managing religious affairs by the law,” “religious freedom,” and “carrying forward the good Chinese traditions and guiding people who have beliefs in the concepts of unity, progress, peace, and tolerance.”
1. People’s Daily, July 10, 2016
2. People’s Daily, April 23, 2016