Although the Communist Party of China (CPC) is officially an atheist organization, it is implementing a free religious belief policy among the Chinese people, according to an article published on Tuesday in the People's Daily, the CPC's flagship newspaper.
The policy is to unite both religious people and non-believers, and the CPC has plenty of reasons to do so, said the article signed by Ye Xiaowen, an advisor for the Chinese Association of Religious Studies and former head of the country's Administration of Religious Affairs.
One of these reasons is that the CPC respects the objectivity of laws governing the evolution of nature and society, the article said.
Religion, as a widespread and historic human phenomenon, has its own laws to enable itself to exist in socialist society on a long-term basis. Therefore, it requires the CPC and the Chinese government to respect these laws and carry out religious policies and the management of relevant affairs in accordance with those laws, the article explained.
Safeguarding the basic rights of the people, including freedom of religious belief, is also part of the CPC's efforts to follow its fundamental rule of serving the people whole-heartedly, the article said.
The article said that Chinese culture highlights the concept of harmony, which includes adopting an inclusive attitude towards various cultures and valuing the cultural elements, history and philosophy embodied in various religions.
China's policy of free religious belief goes in line with the country's historical and cultural traditions and is also accepted by both religious people and non-believers in China, the article said.
People of different religions, as well as those who do not believe in a higher power, are living in harmony in China, despite the fact that conflicts caused by divergences among different cultures and religions can be seen in many parts of the world, according to the article.