China pledged to continue to respect and protect its citizens’ freedom of religious belief in a white paper published on Tuesday. As a socialist country under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China adopts policies on freedom of religious belief based on national and religious conditions to protect citizens’ right to freedom of religious belief, build active and healthy religious relationships, and maintain religious and social harmony, said the white paper published by the State Council Information Office, titled “China’s Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief”, Xinhua reported.
“Religious believers and non-believers respect each other, and live in harmony, committing themselves to reform and opening up and the socialist modernization, and contribute to the realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation,” the white paper said.
Protecting freedom of religious belief, properly handling religious relations and adapting them to the times, and curbing religious extremism are common tasks facing all countries around the world, said the white paper.
China will uphold the principle that religions in China must be Chinese in orientation and provide active guidance to religions so that they can adapt themselves to the socialist society, it said.
The major religions practiced in China, which are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism, have a total of nearly 200 million believers and more than 380,000 clerical personnel.