East Asia

Chinese president affirms state control over religion

Xi Jinping. Credit: East Asia

China’s assertive president, Xi Jinping, has declared that the expression of religion in China must be “Chinese in orientation” and should be guided by the party.

In his lengthy address at the Communist Party’s National Congress, held once every five years, the Chinese premier also stated that the party would continue to “purify, improve and reform.”

In July this year, the Party’s magazine instructed nearly 90 million Party members they should not “seek value and belief in religion” or hold religious beliefs, adding that those who fail to “stick to the party’s faith” would be punished.

Chinese Christians, the majority of whom are part of underground churches, are frequently accused of being enemies of the one-party state.