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Zhejiang CPC bans religious beliefs among applicants

(Global Times)    12:06, February 02, 2015

Applicants to the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be rejected if they are found to embrace religious beliefs, authorities in Zhejiang Province said.

Party authorities in Zhejiang said Friday that the pre-examination system on recruiting CPC members should be improved and implemented.

Current CPC recruitment procedures state that checking on religious beliefs is the first step towards approving applicants to the Party, and Party members found to have participated in or embrace religions will be required to "rectify" their beliefs.

The announcement also said that learning Marxist views on religion will be a required course for applicants and this course will also be taught in local Party schools and governance academies.

Education focusing on establishing Marxist views of religion will be carried out among Party members in rural areas in Zhejiang, while Party members will need to submit a written promise rejecting religion beliefs. "Party members are banned from joining religions. Believing in communism and atheism is a basic requirement to become a Party member," said Li Yunlong, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. Li said that Zhejiang authorities stressed this basic requirement due to local situation, adding he hopes this will set an example to other provinces. "This could be a part of efforts against the penetration of Western hostile forces," said Li.

In the past few months, Zhejiang officials demolished several churches in Wenzhou, a city with roughly 1 million Christians out of 8 million residents, and often referred to as "China's Jerusalem."

Zhejiang urban-rural development authorities said that 1.3 million square meters of illegal constructions for religious use had been demolished or renovated in the province by July 2014 and only 2.3 percent of religious buildings involved were Christian churches.

The CPC, which remains an atheist organization, formally recognizes Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestantism and Catholicism.

The Zhejiang CPC also dealt with problems involving local official interference in land leasing, construction and real estate development, and concluded that some grassroots officials violated residents' interests.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Gao Yinan,Bianji)

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