China: A post-Communist managerial state and freedom of religion or belief

Violations of freedom of religion or belief in China have continued, yet religious communities of all kinds have been growing rapidly. The Chinese Communist Party's attitude toward religion - and so towards the fundamental human right of freedom of religion or belief - has reflected the views of Chinese political elites from the 19th century onwards that religion is "superstition" and a barrier to modernisation, Forum 18 News Service notes. This has led to a political approach that could be characterised as "managerial", which allows the state to retain the will and power to control religious communities. The managerial approach in today's China is more practical and flexible than the ideologically-oriented approach of the Cultural Revolution. It leaves room for religious believers and communities to manoeuvre and even grow. Indeed, there is evidence of influences from religious believers among Communist Party officials. The long-term impact this may have on freedom of religion or belief and related human rights remains to be seen. But the future of religious freedom in China is not necessarily bleak.

Read the original article at Forum 18 News Service  2012-03-20 »

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