The Western media has recently launched a new round of attacks against freedom of religion in China. The demolition of an illegal church in the Shanxi Province city of Linfen, and the trials of a few cults who call themselves Christians have been portrayed by some media outlets as China suppressing Christians.
In China, all religious people, including Christians, must conduct their activities in accordance with the law. Legitimate religious activities are not only permitted, but also protected in every part of the country. Illegal ones, irrespective of their religions, will be rectified, restricted and hit hard in serious cases.
The construction of illegal religious sites is the most common prohibited religious activity. Spreading heresy in the guise of legitimate religion is another.
Accusing China of violating religious freedom is a way for the Western media to consistently defame China. They are not interested in figuring out whether the punished have broken the national law. Their understanding of religions’ status in China is also limited and they might prefer to see all China becoming religious as the Chinese government disintegrated and religious conflicts erupted here.
Freedom of religion in China is sufficient, not only today but also during the most of Chinese history. Chinese law forbids a small number of religious groups engaging in illicit activities and undermining social order. This is fully justified politically, legally, ethically and this approach enjoys broad support from all walks of life in the nation.
The Western world, on the other hand, has lacked religious freedom throughout its history. Once divergences emerged within the same religion, the disadvantaged side was persecuted. The West has also seen many religious wars in the past. Some conflicts in Europe in recent years still have elements of a religious dispute.
In terms of understanding freedom of religion, differences do exist between China and the West. But the level of religious harmony in China is undoubtedly one of the highest in the world.
Religious affairs in China must be managed by China itself. The problem is some Western forces want to interfere in religious disputes in China. They believe that religious groups are more easily incited to turn into resistance forces against Chinese social governance. Some Western forces have also deluded a few radical people and inculcated their ideas into more religious believers.
But those Western forces cannot achieve their goal. China is very firm in promoting the rule of law and has profound secularity within its society.
No unlawful religious activity can be exempted in China and no licit religious exercise will be suppressed here. Religious affairs in China deserve to be highly respected in this world.