Is it true that the Chinese government persecutes citizens who declare a religion?
I heard today that the Chinese government persecutes Chinese citizens who declare to be faithful to one religion? Not that I assume China has a national religion, but are Chinese citizens discouraged from declaring a particular faith?
Not from what I've read. Freedom of religion is guaranteed in the constitution of China. Notable religions are Buddhism and Taoism, as well as a high percentage of atheism, but as far as I've read, there are lots of Christians and Muslims, among other religions.
Official Chinese policy is religious freedom exists. In reality, religious organizations are tolerated as long as they are advocates for gov't policy. Communism is slowly crumbling in the region. However, many of those in power are old world Marxist. And Marxism leaves little room for religious freedom. Most of any persecution has been directed towards Christians. I don't believe it's anything like what the Coptic Christians have had to deal with in Egypt. And it has gotten much better since the late 60's and 70's when religious movements were effectively banned. But it is very real. They have closed churches, and detained people. They restrict religious groups by requiring them to operate via permit. They have something called the "Three-Self Patriotic Movement". It's essentially a way to ensure that any religious influence is totally compliant with stated gov't objectives. And dissent means you can't operate within the country. They also view it as a way to maintain their idea of a sort of cultural integrity, by preserving their nation and limiting external influence. Overall the degree of persecution these days is more like gov't harassment. But they are not burning people at the stake. I would much rather be a Christian in China, then in Egypt or Iran.
Thank you so much for your comment LandmarkWealth! Fascinating and sad. This explains what I heard. We really do take for granted the freedoms we are afforded in this country, don't we?
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