In a new move to crackdown on religion, China has warned the approximately 85 million communist party members that they must “be firm Marxist atheists” or face punishment. China is concerned that foreign forces are using religion to infiltrate China and spread extremism. President Xi Jinping is trying to force the country’s ethnic and religious minorities to conform to Chinese tradition. He has persecuted Christians, destroying churches and arresting pastors, yet Christianity continues to grow. By 2030 it is expected to be the world’s most Christian nation.
07/21/2017 China (The Gospel Herald) – China has launched a new crackdown on religion, warning the estimated 85 million Communist Party members they must “be firm Marxist atheists” or face punishment.
“Party members should not have religious beliefs, which is a red line for all members”, wrote Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, in the latest issue of the Party’s flagship magazine, Qiuishi Journal, according to China’s Global Times.
He added: “Party members should be firm Marxist atheists, obey party rules and stick to the party’s faith… They are not allowed to seek value and belief in religion.”
Wang explained that “foreign forces” are using religion “to infiltrate China” which is a threat to the country’s security.
“Some foreign forces have used religion to infiltrate China, and extremism and illegal religious activities are spreading in some places, which have threatened national security and social stability,” he said.
The UK Times says that while Wang’s comments are line with official Party rules, the country’s undefined threat of “punishment” seems “unduly severe for modern China” and appears to be part of “an increasingly draconian crackdown on religious freedom”.