China orders religious leaders to manifest “love for the Communist Party”

DHARAMSALA, 15 April: The Chinese Communist regime has issued a new decree to all the religious leaders in China demanding them to manifest their “love for the Communist Party”.

The Chinese government’s new “a further totalitarian measure to limit religious freedom,” the Tabloid reported citing Frankfurt am Main based International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) as saying in its report.

The edict, titled “Decree No.15” the report said applies to all religions, that is Buddhist lamas, Christian clerics, Muslim imams and other religious leaders.

The report stated that it was issued in January by the National Office for Religious Affairs in Beijing for “administration” in religious institutions and that it comes into force on 1 May 2021.

It binds the clerics to “maintain national unity, ethnic unity, religious harmony and social stability”. They must in no way “endanger national security”, “undermine national unity” or “divide the country.”

Beijing intends to implement its so-called sinicisation policy “right through to the total conformity of all believers,” the ISHR stated in the report.

The new measures will contribute towards “institutionalising the constant suppression of believers of diverse religions,” the report said and added that under the decree, not only religion teachers and community leaders but all religious writings and ceremonies would have to conform to “communist leadership standards”.

Additionally, the Chinese government has scheduled drastic control measures, among others a personalised 12-figure code which is part of a rating system, it added.

“Clerics will be required to ask permission to carry out religious activities in advance. Should they not do so, they could lose their legitimisation and would be fined,” it concluded.

Last August, the Chinese state media reported that the Chinese president Xi Jinping has issued a firm call for the “sinicization” of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet besides closing churches and jailing pastors while Beijing forbidding Muslims from fasting and religious practices during Ramadan time and again.

Meanwhile, China was deemed a top religious freedom concern in 2021 by the U.S. Commissioner on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in Jan.

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