Xinhua Commentary: China's measures ensuring religious freedom sound, effective

Source: Xinhua| 2021-12-06 20:46:38|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's measures respecting and protecting freedom of religious belief have proven sound and effective, contributing to the ethnic unity, social harmony and comprehensive development of the world's most populous country.

Protecting freedom of religious belief and adapting religions to the modern era are common tasks facing all countries around the world, and the Chinese leadership has remained committed to this pursuit. China's commitment to freedom of religious belief is unswerving.

At a recent national conference on work related to religious affairs, Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, stressed the importance of respecting people's religious beliefs, managing religious affairs in accordance with the law, as well as upholding the principle of developing religions in the Chinese context.

China has nearly 200 million religious believers, over 380,000 clerical personnel, some 5,500 religious organizations and more than 140,000 lawfully registered venues for religious activities.

Under such circumstances, it is only natural for China to attach great importance to religious affairs. The recent conference has sent a clear message that China will stick to the policies and practices that have proven effective and suitable for the country.

The protection of the people's freedom of religious belief is well reflected in China's legal system and the country's religious affairs have been managed in line with the law.

In addition to being explicitly mentioned in the country's Constitution that the citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief, China has also made specific laws and regulations regarding different aspects of this freedom, and different aspects of freedom of religious belief are protected under a number of different laws.

For example, the Law on the Protection of Minors stipulates that minors enjoy equal rights to life, development, protection, participation and education in accordance with the law, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

In 2018, a set of revised regulations on religious affairs came into effect. Highlighting religious and social harmony, the regulations stipulate that believers and nonbelievers, as well as believers of different religions, should respect each other.

The regulations also include provisions that protect the rights of believers, places of worship and religious organizations, and require local governments to provide public services to them.

China's efforts in ensuring freedom of religious belief have inspired religious personnel to contribute to the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

For example, religious personnel have been active participants in the deliberation and administration of state affairs. As of 2018, approximately 20,000 prominent figures from religious circles served as deputies and members at all levels of people's congresses and committees of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, according to the 2018 white paper titled "China's Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief."

In addition, the efforts have inspired different religions to respect and learn from each other, and take part in exchanges and dialogues. In China, national and local religious groups have established a mechanism of joint conferences to discuss issues concerning religious affairs, creating modes of religious dialogue with Chinese characteristics and enhancing mutual understanding and friendship.

Religious groups stand as a bridge and bond connecting the Party and the government with people from religious circles and the countless religious believers. The country's effective policies and measures to safeguard freedom of religious belief will continue to be fully and faithfully implemented. Enditem

KEY WORDS: China,Social,Religion