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Religion in China

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  • June 23, 2013
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Religion in China is an issue just like it is in every other country. It comes with many obstacles for people who want to practice their religion, as well as the Chinese government, which is determined to maintain control of the country and not have religion interfere with government policies. Over the past three decades religious observance in China has been on the rise. According to a state-run survey, 31.4 percent of Chinese adults are religious, a figure that is three times the initial government estimate. Even though numbers are steadily growing, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is officially atheist, but over the past few years has become more open and informative about religion. The state introduced new laws and regulations regarding religion, cracking down on sects such as Falun Gong. The state is concerned with maintaining political control while they display their tolerance for religion. In this paper we are going to learn more about the five accepted religions in China; the atheist CCP and their policies; religion in China’s past; and lastly, looking forward is the Chinese government going to be more accepting of religion or will it view religion as a threat to its power? Ultimately, no matter how lenient the CCP became, Muslim Uighurs, Buddhist Tibetans, unregistered Christians, and groups that the party views as cults, such as the aforementioned Falun Gong, are still mistreated and oppressed. Catholicism is a religion on the rise in China; but it is not without issues and intolerance on the part of the CCP. Due to antagonism between Beijing and the Vatican from the 1940s, Catholicism has had the most issues with the CCP among the five accepted religions. For example, in the 1950s, the CCP encouraged the “Three-self Patriotic Movement” in order to minimize the Catholic Church’s ties with the Vatican that opposed the Chinese communist regime. Bishops, priests and nuns who supported the Vatican were arrested; and those who were not were driven...