Beijing plans to continue tightening grip on Christianity and Islam as China pushes ahead with the ‘Sinicisation of religion’
  • Wed, 03/06/2019 - 20:41

Nectar Gan
Updated: Wednesday, 6 Mar, 2019 5:41pm

Beijing has vowed to push ahead with its controversial campaign to “Sinicise religion”, defying growing international condemnation over its sweeping crackdown on Muslims and Christians.

Delivering his annual government work report on Tuesday, Premier Li Keqiang told the national legislature that “we must fully implement the [Communist] Party’s fundamental policy on religious affairs and uphold the Sinicisation of religion in China”.

The push to “Sinicise religion” – introduced by President Xi Jinping in 2015 – is an attempt by the officially atheist party to bring religions under its absolute control and into line with Chinese culture.

The campaign has coincided with an intensified clampdown on religious freedom across the country, especially on Protestants, Catholics and Muslims who the party fears could become tools of foreign influence or ethnic separatism.

In the far western region of Xinjiang, over 1 million Uygurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities have reportedly been held in internment camps and forced to denounce Islam and pledge loyalty to the party.

Expressions and observance of Islam, ethnic customs and culture have also been curbed or discouraged in what some critics called a “cultural cleansing” of the Uygur minority.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT South China Morning Post