Buddhism beliefs

Control over CCP members’ religious beliefs intensifies

Authorities across China are adopting strict measures prohibiting Party members from any affiliation with traditional Chinese religion and spiritual practices.

by Hu Ke

In May last year, CCP members in Anshan, a prefecture-level city in northeast Liaoning Province, received “ten bans on religious beliefs.” Not only do they prohibit Party members from holding religious beliefs, but they also provide strict guidelines for their daily lives. For example, they are prohibited from wearing or displaying anything with religious symbols at home and at work or entering places of worship for non-work purposes, even during their travels and vacations related to the work or when visiting historic or scenic sites. Meetings with religious personnel without permission are also prohibited.

The persecution of religious CCP members across the country intensified after Party authorities incorporated prohibitions on practicing faith in the recently revised law. Chinese Communist Party Disciplinary Rules in August 2018.

“These stringent regulations require CCP members to make a clean break with religions and keep ideologies pure,” a government insider explained.

A statement for CCP members pledging to stay away from religion.

Restrictions on Party members in the Tibet Autonomous Region are even stricter. The Organization Department (the CCP’s human resources division) of Chamdo, the region’s third largest city, also issued “sixteen restrictions” last May. According to them, Party members are prohibited from holding religious beliefs and attending religious activities. They are also prohibited from “having private discussions and deliberately disseminating personal opinions” on ethnic and religious policies and related issues. Sharing “sensitive remarks” about religious beliefs on social media is also not allowed.

Party members cannot “swear to gamble, smoke, drink, kill, and eat meat and fish in the name of deities or Buddha.” They will be punished for opposing government plans to build public facilities on mountains, lakes and other sacred and holy Buddhist areas. The CCP defines such acts as “using religion as a pretext to interfere in public social enterprises.”

CCP members are also required to report to the government any clergy relatives living overseas to whom they send money.

Party members in Tibet celebrate the 99th founding anniversary of the CCP.
Party members in Tibet celebrate the 99th founding anniversary of the CCP.

These restrictions are widely used to punish CCP members or their families for holding religious beliefs and practicing their faith. Even for something that happened years ago.

In October last year, a Party member in one of the villages in Liaoning was repeatedly punished for her faith. City government officials who administer the village not only asked her to write a statement of self-criticism and tore down the religious images in her home, but also threatened to close the state church to which she belonged. . They also obtained the list of believers in the village and removed religious symbols from their homes.

Party members from Yuhuan City in eastern Zhejiang Province pledge allegiance to the CPC on July 3 to mark its 99th anniversary.
Party members from Yuhuan City in eastern Zhejiang Province pledge allegiance to the CPC on July 3 to mark its 99th anniversary.

In the same month, a CCP member from Liaocheng City, eastern Shandong Province, was reported to authorities for practicing feng shui– a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that uses energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surroundings – four years ago. His workplace party committee investigated and demoted him.

A Party member from Liaocheng complained to bitter winter that the situation had radically changed: feng shui These practices had never come to the attention of the government before, but their persecution is now “a matter of principle.” “From now on, any offhand remark or action can be punished,” the man added.

Teachers at the Huaibei Capital Experimental Primary School in eastern Anhui Province sign statements promising not to hold religious beliefs.
Teachers at the Huaibei Capital Experimental Primary School in eastern Anhui Province sign statements promising not to hold religious beliefs.

According to a CCP member from Kaifeng City in central Henan Province, six officials in his village were ordered to write self-critical statements last September because they were caught giving money to build a temple. Another Party member had to write a similar statement because his son is a Buddhist and had Buddhist flags at home.