Why CPC can unite religious believers

15:51, June 08, 2011      

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The CPC does not believe in the existence of deities, and its guiding ideology embraces dialectical and historical materialism, which includes atheism, and is against any kind of idealism, including theism. Therefore, how can an atheist Party unite religious believers and reconcile their will and power with that of non-religious believers and enable them to focus on the pursuit of development and economic construction?

The cause lies in that the Party has sincerely, fully and correctly implemented the policy of freedom of religious belief. The Party cannot only express sincere reasons to convince others and itself but also take sincere measures to promote others and itself to implement the policy.

First, this is determined by the Party's basic views. Since the Party believes that material, objectivity and existence are primary, it is surely convinced that the development and changes of objective things are determined by their inherent laws and any external intervention or any easy solution of complicated issues will not work. Objectivity here means that except for the Party's own thoughts, all other things are objective, including the existence of religion.

Religion has been a kind of universal and long-standing phenomena in the spiritual life of mankind. Its origin and development have had social and cognitive roots and followed objective laws that are independent of mankind's conscious efforts to direct it. Religion can also exist for a long time within a socialist society and it will die off possibly later than any class or country. As a materialist, the Party must recognize and respect such objective existence and facts and have appropriate current and long-term approaches to perform religious work according to objective laws.

Secondly, it accords with the principles of the Party. The fundamental principle of the Party is to serve the people whole-heartedly. It means serving, uniting and depending on the overwhelming majority. All the efforts made by the Party are to realize and safeguard the people's fundamental rights, certainly including the right of freely choosing their religious beliefs.

The people, including religious people, are creators of social and material wealth, and their practical activities are the source and motivational power of social and spiritual civilization development. Marxist view of religion and its concept of people are consistent because Marxism is able to correctly look upon and treat religious people and believe they can liberate themselves. Therefore, the Party always makes every effort to unite all the people around it and allows them to fight for their fundamental rights.

Third, it is a necessary action for China to let religion play a positive role in society. Since religion is a long-term existence independent of man's will and since religious people are not only great in number but also ordinary people who must be united and depended on, it is absolutely natural that China would conduct religion to play a positive role instead of a negative role. Antitheists and religious believers share common fundamental interests both politically and economically, and their ideological difference is even less. As long as they unite and cooperate with each other politically and respect each other ideologically, religion will be able to play a positive role in promoting social harmony.

Fourth, the religious freedom policy is in line with China's historical and cultural traditions. State and religion have always been separated in Chinese history, and major religious wars that used to plague Europe have never occurred in China. The Chinese people value harmony and are good at incorporating different types of cultures, including the cultural information and ideas contained in various religious books and artworks. The policy of religious freedom is in line with China's historical and cultural traditions, and is accepted by both non-believers, who make up the majority of China's population and religious people.

Believers of different religions and non-believers are living in harmony in China, while the rest of the world is troubled by the "religious fever" and "clash of civilizations." This is another miracle occurring in China in addition to its economic miracle.

By People's Daily Online and its author is Ye Xiaowen, a special commentator with People's Daily Overseas Edition and an advisor to the Chinese Association of Religious Studies.
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