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Official:China is Now Going to Encourage Religion?

by Dr. D ~ October 25th, 2007

According to Reuters, Ye Xiaowen, Director-General of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, told reporters at the ruling Communist Party’s 17th Congress, that China was now going to encourage religion to play a future role “in promoting economic and social development” rather than crushing all religions like the Communist Party has acted in the past.

Mr. Ye also announced that the Chinese government would be sponsoring religious services for all religions at the coming summer Olympics in 2008.

While Ye also acknowledged that there has been ongoing problems between the Vatican officials and the Chinese government, he is for promoting better official relations between China and the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, China still has a problem with the Dalai Lama and is quite angry over the attention that the Bush Administration has given the former Tibetan Leader. President Bush commented over the situation:

“Americans cannot look to the plight of the religiously oppressed and close our eyes or turn away. And that is why I will continue to urge the leaders of China to welcome the Dalai Lama to China. They will find this good man to be a man of peace and reconciliation.”

The Dalai Lama and China have been in an ongoing dispute since the Chinese People’s Liberation Army annexed the Dalai Lama’s Himalayan homeland in 1951. They do not seem to be ready to encourage the Lama’s Buddhist sect anytime soon, despite the recent statement made by Ye Xiaowen.

Also, according to many reports including this story from VOM News, China continues to persecute Christian leaders.

Comments: This leaves one to wonder about how sincere the Chinese Communists are when they indicate that religion will be encouraged. One also wonders what that might mean in the future for Christian believers in China. What religion or religions are they actually going to be encourage?             *Top

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