Communist Party to purge officials of faith in ‘Jerusalem of the East’

May 23, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

China ChurchBeijing, May 22, 2015: China’s Communist Party is planning to purge members who secretly follow a faith in Wenzhou, dubbed ‘Jerusalem of the East’ due to the city’s substantial Christian population.

The latest anti-Christian campaign in the city will see the party probe its own ranks, the state-run Global Times reported, following 18 months in which authorities have removed crosses and destroyed churches across Zhejiang province.

“Whoever loses loyalty in the party will be expelled,” it said. “The daily performance of potential members and the possibility that they practice a religion will be examined.”

The planned purge follows a visit late last year by the inspection team of the Communist Party’s Central Disciplinary Committee, which reported that “individual party members in some places participate in religious activities and believe religion”.

Catholics in Zhejiang have told ucanews it is a relatively common for party members to practise their faith in secret in a bid to find a sense of “peace”.

“The central inspection team’s report cannot stop officials from believing in religion,” said one Church source who declined to be named for security reasons. “If you believe in Buddhism, you don’t need a particular inception or sign, and you don’t have to go to church every week.”

In June last year, Zhejiang government websites posted a “commitment letter” for party members to sign, vowing that they would not believe in any religion.

Those who sign up have to make a public commitment to following the Marxist view on religion and are required to further their study of atheist education.

In 2013, the head of the religious committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Zhu Weiqun, warned that party members who follow certain religions would likely become internal agents of their faith.

In turn, that would cause them to be biased when dealing with different religions in China, he added.

– ucan

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