Religious freedom not at odds with management
Global Times


Western media, organizations and politicians have frequently slandered China's religious affairs, accusing some of China's local governments of cracking down on Christianity. They also constantly attack China's governance in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, threatening to impose sanctions against China under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. 

Chinese residents fully enjoy freedom of religious belief. Every one of them can choose to become a believer of any religion. In the meantime, religious affairs need to be managed according to the law. In some places, a small number of people have violated the relevant regulations through organizing illegal religious activities and such behavior must be addressed. 

Western media deliberately set religious freedom against the management of religious affairs in China. The purpose of such intervention is to separate religious affairs from China's national governance system so as to form a certain kind of political independence of religion. 

Some Western forces spare no effort in support of the development of China's underground churches. The Chinese people must be vigilant toward their intentions. 

Has the faith of Chinese religious followers ever been disturbed? Relevant management of the nation involves issues such as the existence and registration of churches, the appointment of clergy and whether religious sites are in compliance with regulations. In a country as large as China, one can see many religions co-existing. Management can hence not be relaxed and religious believers should understand and cooperate. 

Objectively speaking, the majority of Chinese religious believers generally recognize and affirm religious affairs in the country. There have been numerous religious conflicts among different religions and sects in quite a few countries. 

If all those religions are not under the unified leadership of China's State system and each act in their own way, they would pose a huge risk to the country. Most Chinese people are well aware of that. 

Severe ideological differences exist between China and the West. Geopolitical factors are playing a role in some foreign forces' attitude toward China. For the moment, it is impossible to make the outside world understand China's religious affairs. That being said, the Chinese people must be resolute in the current policy of religious management and resolutely act in accordance with the law. 

There is no need to adopt a confrontational posture against provocation by Western forces. What we should do is to resolutely reject any unreasonable interference from external forces and abide by the law so as to realize harmonious and orderly religious affairs throughout the country. 

All Chinese people should be aware that the country is the outermost barrier to protect the legitimate interests of each group and individual in China. It is thus the duty of all  Chinese residents to safeguard the authority of the nation's State governance. No one should jeopardize it for whatever reasons and people should prevent themselves from being used by external forces to intervene in China's own affairs.