-By Tsewang Gyalpo Arya for The Japan Times
In September, the Chinese Communist Party made a move to further subjugate and control religious institutions in China and the occupied regions of Tibet, East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia
The five major religions recognized by China are Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam and Taoism. Up to now, China has used various means and laws to suppress religious bodies in China, Tibet, East Turkestan, Southern Mongolia and Hong Kong, depending on each territory’s circumstances.
With the recent order, Beijing aims to gain blanket authority to clamp down on any religion, anywhere, with impunity. “Places of religious activity shall uphold the leadership of the CCP and the socialist system, thoroughly implement Xi Jinping’s ideology of socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era … practice core socialist values, adhere to the direction of Sinicization of China’s religions” — with these words, Article 3 betrays what the government really has in mind.
Where is religious freedom if religious bodies are forced to adopt the ideology of an individual or a system that do not believe in religion at all? How can this be interpreted under Article 36 of the Constitution? Is the CCP above the Constitution? These are questions the leadership must answer; so far, its decision to undermine the free practice of religions and religious education has been justified under the guise of protecting national security and public safety.
International and religious communities around the world should join Chinese, Tibetans, Uyghurs and Southern Mongolians in rejecting this draconian and unlawful decree, and in calling for Chinese and minority nationals to enjoy religious freedom as enshrined in the Chinese Constitution and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Silence on the part of the international community will embolden the Communist Party leadership to commit further religious atrocities and profane religious teachings with its ideology. This would be a great leap backward for civilization.
Click here to read more.