China : Religion remains under the control of the Communist Party

Source: FSSPX News


The People’s Daily of January 23, published the following statements made by Jia Qinglin, head of Religious Affairs in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and a member of the government. "Religious affairs must be managed entirely under the leadership of the State and the Party”, declared the number four man of the CCP, denouncing “Christian or Muslim foreigners” who would use religion as a means to infiltrate and destabilize the country. In fact, Chinese Catholics faithful to the Pope are treated in the same manner as priests of the Underground Church and are consequently jailed. Moreover, the Chinese government must face up to the nationalistic claims of Muslim populations in Xinjiang in the West of the country.

 The Bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Zen – who will be made a cardinal on March 24- in reply to the Italian daily Avvenire of January 5, said that more time was needed to reach an agreement between the Chinese government and the Holy See, adding however, that Catholics had recently gained  “significant areas of freedom”. “China continues to be a very heavy yoke. The Communist Party wants to control everything, the bishop continued, not only the structures, but the minds and hearts of its citizens”. “Nowadays methods have changed a little, but fundamentally things are the same”. According to him, “no one dares to say what they really think”.

 However, “if the Communist government controls structures”, said bishop Zen, it no longer controls “the hearts and minds of the faithful”. “After many years of forced separation in China, the Catholic Church is now united, he said, because they all want to be at one with the pope.” In his opinion, the obstacle to complete unity between the two churches in China – the official and the underground Church, is “as always, the control exercised by the Party”.