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Chinese Communist Party forbids religious belief for retired members

Friday, March 11, 2016

China Aid
Translated by Carolyn Song. Written and edited in English by Ava Collins.

(Beijing—March 11, 2016) The Communist Party of China (CPC) issued a document regarding allowed behavior of retired Party officials. One stipulation is an explicit prohibition of religious beliefs and practices.

The General Office of the Central Committee of the CPC released these instructions in a missive known as “Opinions on Further Strengthening and Improving the Work of Retired Officials” and urged retired Party members to abide by the new codes. Retired officials were specifically instructed to “resolutely fight against taking part in evil cults” and encouraged all retired members to report any other retirees participating in “ethnic group customs like religious activities.”

An interview with the head of the Central Committee of the CPC was published by Xinhua News Agency, an official, state-run press organization, regarding the new document and its codes. An excerpted version of the interview, translated by China Aid, can be found below.

China Aid reports on religious freedom abuses, such as the forbiddance of religious belief among Communist Party members and retirees, in order to raise awareness and support for religious freedom throughout China.

Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee: Comprehensively making good work for retired officials

Xinhua Web
2016/02/04 19:30

Original title: The General Office of the Central Committee of the CPC and the General Office of the State Council issued “Opinions on Further Strengthening and Improving the Work of Retired Officials.”

[According to] a phone call with Xinhua News Agency in Beijing on Feb. 4, recently, the General Office of the Central Committee of the CPC and the General Office of the State Council issued the “Opinions on Further Strengthening and Improving the Work of Retired Officials” (hereafter referred to as “Opinions”) and a notice urging every region and department to combine practicality and conscientious implementation to carry out [the actions listed therein].

“Opinions” was issued in order to answer new situations and problems regarding the management of retired officials’ personnel structure, ideology, activities, service and other various aspects and to answer the request for a proposal of new and good situations for the work of retired officials.

Recently, the person in charge of the Central Committee of the CPC was interviewed by this reporter and answered the reporter’s questions on the issuance and implementation of “Opinions” and other questions.

Q: Why must this “Opinions” be formulated?

A: With this new situation, the work of old officials will only be strengthened, not weakened. There have been many new situations and problems that arose out of managing the retired officers’ ideas, activities and service that need to be answered and regulated. “Opinions” is the first comprehensive document synthesizing the work of old officials concerned with producing a new, good period of work [for] the retired officials that has been issued on behalf of the General Office of the Central Committee of the CPC and the General Office of the State Council since the establishment of the old officials’ retirement system in 1982. [It] has an important, guiding significance.

Q: What requirements does “Opinions” have for reinforcing the aspects of education management for retired officials and Party members?

A: “Opinions” raised six clear requirements for reinforcing the education management of retired officials and Party members, such as firmly establishing awareness of discipline and established standards, strictly maintaining political discipline and established standards from beginning to end and firmly supporting the deployment of the Party Central Committee's major policy decisions and guidelines for policy. They are to strictly comply with the central authorities’ lectures, forums, [newspaper or magazine] publications, regular publications and hold concurrent positions in both business and social organizations, continue to practice their trades, endorse the leaving of the country’s (borders) and report important events. Among [these requirements] is an article which clearly stipulates that retired officials and Party members cannot believe in a religion or participate in religious activities and must resolutely fight against taking part in evil cults. Furthermore, [they must] openly distinguish Party members who participate in certain ethnic group customs like religious activities.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org