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Religions in China Should Conform to China’s Realities

Source: Xi Jinping: The Governance of China IV Updated: 2023-07-24

Religions in China Should Conform to China’s Realities*

December 3, 2021

We should fully implement the Party’s theory on religious affairs in the new era, and its basic policies on religious affairs and freedom of religious belief. Religions in China should conform to China’s realities, and we should guide religions to be compatible with socialist society. We should help religious groups strengthen their self-management. We should improve the law-based management of religious affairs, and bring about new advances in our religious work. We should encourage religious believers to join in the national endeavor to develop China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

The Party Central Committee has attached great importance to religious affairs since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012. Party committees at all levels have implemented the decisions of the Central Committee and performed well in managing religious affairs. Our Party’s basic policy on religious affairs has been fully implemented, the relevant systems and mechanisms have been further improved, the related legal and policy framework has been strengthened, and both religious leaders and believers are increasingly aware of the need to learn, respect, observe and apply the law. Religions in China have thus become more compatible with China’s realities.

Religious groups are patriotic, and value our national interests. They respect the law and science and care about public wellbeing. They are committed to China, the Chinese nation, and the Chinese culture, and they support the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The Central Committee has put forward a set of new guidelines and measures on religious work since 2012. It has answered major theoretical and practical questions on how to view religion, how to deal with religious issues, and how to properly handle religious affairs in the new era. We must have a keen understanding of the importance of religious affairs in the work of the Party and the state, strengthen leadership, continue to practice and develop a socialist theory on religion with Chinese characteristics, and follow the Party’s basic policy on religious affairs. We must act on the principle that religions in China should conform to China’s realities, rally all religious believers around the Party and the government, foster positive and healthy relations among religions, support religious groups in self-improvement, and strengthen the law-based management of religious affairs.

We should fully, accurately and faithfully implement the Party’s policy on freedom of religious belief, respect people’s religious beliefs, manage religious affairs in accordance with the law, adhere to the principle of religious groups managing their own affairs independently, and see to it that religion is compatible with socialist society.

The Party’s work related to religious affairs calls for engaging with the people. Both religious believers and non-believers share our fundamental political and economic interests, and both are the public foundation of our Party’s governance. We should respect believers’ freedom of religious belief, do all we can to stay engaged with them, and patiently address their concerns.

Religious groups serve as a bridge between the Party and the government and religious leaders and believers. We should support them and help them in their operation; we should respect them and see that they play their role in managing their own affairs.

We should make sure that religions in China conform to China’s realities and observe the core socialist values. We should encourage religious leaders and believers to remain committed to our country, the Chinese nation, and the Chinese culture, and to support the CPC, and socialism with Chinese characteristics. We should carry out activities in the religious community to strengthen its commitment to patriotism, collectivism and socialism and help religious believers to learn more about the history of the CPC, the PRC, reform and opening up, and the development of socialism. Religious leaders and believers should be guided to cultivate and apply the core socialist values, and esteem Chinese culture. We should uphold a holistic approach to national security and the principle of religious groups managing their own affairs independently, and carry out related work accordingly. We should strengthen the management of religious affairs online, and effectively address major problems that impair the healthy development of religion in China.

We should support and guide the religious community to improve its self-education, self-management and self-discipline. The religious community should exercise full and strict self-management. It should take the lead in abiding by China’s laws and regulations and urge believers to practice self-cultivation in order to achieve greater attainment.

Religious organizations should improve themselves and strengthen democratic oversight over members of their leadership. We should promote law-based management of religious affairs in all respects, and carry out an extensive program to raise awareness of the law.

Religious activities should be conducted within the scope prescribed by China’s laws and regulations. Such activities should not impair the health of citizens, disrupt public order, erode moral values, or interfere with educational, judicial and government affairs as well as public life.

We should train Party and government officials engaged in religious work so that they will have a good command of the Marxist view on religion, have a good knowledge of religious affairs, and be able to communicate effectively with religious believers. These officials should study the Marxist view on religion, the Party’s theory and policies on religious affairs, and increase their knowledge on religion, so as to raise their capacity to provide guidance.

We should see that religious leaders are politically reliable, excel in religious teachings, have morals and integrity, and can respond to challenges at critical times.

We should see that those who conduct research on religion have a firm belief in the Marxist view on religion, maintain academic integrity, and are eager to explore new ground; and we should strengthen the discipline of Marxist studies on religion.

We should improve the systems and mechanisms of religious work and create a model of religious affairs management featuring leadership by Party committees, government management, public participation, and self-discipline. We should properly handle major issues involving religious affairs, lay solid foundations, and make continued efforts to deliver long-term benefits.


* Main points of the speech at the National Conference on Religious Affairs.

(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)