A major article in an influe-ntial Chinese Communist Party (CPP) journal has warned cadres that adopting religious beliefs is not a private matter. Qiushi is the top-level journal on communist theory run by the Party’s central committee.
The article by Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administra-tion of Religious Affairs, is entitled “Be politically minded while doing religious work.”
Chinese media in and outside of China picked up on his ad-monition to Communist Party members and officials that they should not believe in any religion. When the regime issues specific warnings, it is widely seen as reflecting high-level concerns. There is no doubt that some Party officials have become religious followers.
There are an estimated 90 million Communist Party members in China, with many joining to enhance their career prospects. There is no credible estimate of just how many of them have adopted a religion.
However, Wang Zuoan, in his lengthy article, noted that this had occurred with some senior Communist Party cadres, not only mi-ddle and low-level regime officials. He called for “edu-cation” to induce people to abandon their religious faith or, if necessary, face disci-plinary action.