After the birth of new China in 1949, the Chinese government formulated and implemented the policy of religious freedom and established a new relationship between politics and religions in accordance with the actual condition of the country. Chinese citizens are free to choose and express their religious belief as well as demonstrate their religious status. All religions are equally and coexist harmoniously with one another and there is so far no such thing as dispute among different religions. Religious believers and non-believers also respect to each other and they live together peacefully.
The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China stipulates: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religion. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens because they do, or do not believe in religion. The state protects normal religious activities.” The Constitution also stipulates: “nobody can make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt social order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state. Religious organizations and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign dominance.”
China’s National Regional Autonomy Law, Civil Law, Education Law, Labor Law, Compulsory Education Law, Electoral Law of People’s Congress, Organic Law of Villagers’ Committee and Advertisement Law also stipulate: “citizens, no matter they are religious believer or not, enjoy the right of election and to be elected; legitimate property of religious organizations is protected by law; education is separate from religion and citizens, religious believers or non-believers, enjoy the equal opportunity of education according to law; people of all nationalities respect the languages, customs and religious belief of one another; citizens are not discriminated in employment because of their different religious beliefs; advertisement and trade mark may not carry content that discriminates against any nationality or religion.”
In January 1994, the Chinese government promulgated the Regulation on the Management of Places for Religious Activities to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of these places; in that February, the Chinese government also promulgated the Regulation on the Management of Foreigners’ Religious Activities in the People’s Republic of China in order to respect the religious freedom of foreigners in China and to protect foreigners’ friendly exchange and cultural and academic communication concerning religion with people from Chinese religious circle.
Chinese laws also stipulate that normal missionary affairs and religious services in places of religious activities or at home of believers in accordance with religious practice, such as paying homage to the Buddha, reciting scripts on religious classics, worship services, prayer, interpreting religious works, preaching, Mass, baptism, being initiated into monkhood or nunhood, practicing abstinence during Ramadan, observing religious festivals, sacrament in critical situations and recollection of late figures, should be completely carried out by religious organizations and believers and are protected by law. No one may interfere with these activities.
Like many other countries in the world, China adopts the principle of separating religion from state education and except in several colleges and research institutes that are responsible for the education and study of religion, religion is not taught in public education. Schools founded by religious organizations are entitled to carry out systematic education on religion according to their actual conditions.
Over the long period of historical development, religious culture in China has become a component of traditional Chinese ideological culture. All religious organizations value the principle of making contribution in the service of society and people. For instance, Buddhism advocates the principle of making the country powerful and people’s life prosperous, Catholicism and Christianity underline the doctrine of glorifying God and benefiting people, Taoism upholds the proposition of rendering utmost love to everyone and serving the society by subliming the temperament of others and Islam embraces the faith of achieving happiness in both this life and aftertime.