China’s religion chiefs to double down on bringing doctrine in line with socialist dogma

  • Reinterpretation of texts the latest effort in four-year old push to establish ‘theology with Chinese characteristics’

China is seeking to develop “theology with Chinese characteristics” and make religion more compatible with socialism. Photo: Reuters

China is seeking to develop “theology with Chinese characteristics” and make religion more compatible with socialism. Photo: Reuters

China’s religious leaders met in Beijing on Tuesday to work on ways to reinterpret religious doctrine to bring it in line with socialism, as the ruling Communist Party presses on with its campaign to

“Sinicise”

religion.

The meeting, convened by Wang Yang, the country’s top official overseeing religious affairs, focused on how to ensure that religious dogma “meets the requirements of the progressing times” and fits “core socialist values”, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Wang, who is also a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the party’s inner circle of power, said the goal was to develop “theology with Chinese characteristics” and make religion more compatible with socialism, the report said.

The meeting comes after the party’s powerful Central Committee met last month to map out China’s policy directions for the coming years.

It also comes four years after President Xi Jinping launched the “sinicisation” campaign to bring religions into line with Chinese culture and the party’s absolute authority.

But the ultimate goal, in Xi’s own words, was to keep believers away from “Western ideology” and “religious extremism”.

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