China’s major religious organisations, controlled by the Chinese government, passed a resolution making it mandatory to raise the Chinese flag at all places of worship in the country and during all religious events. The move is seen as an attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to extend its control over religious life.
The resolution was passed during the sixth joint conference of the country’s religious groups, which was held in Beijing on Tuesday. The organisations include the Buddhist Association of China, the Taoist Association of China, the Islamic Association of China, and the Bishops’ Conferen-ce of the Catholic Church in China.
The resolution says that the national flag shall be raised at religious venues on National Day, International Labour Day, New Year’s Day, Spring Festival and other important festivals and celebrations of each religion.
“Raising the flag at religious venues abets the strengthening of religious figures’ and religious believers’ national and civic consciousness and creates a sense of the Chinese nation’s community,” a statement issued after the conference said. The resolution also states that when the national flag and religious logo are simultaneously raised, the national flag should be placed at the centre, or at a more prominent position.