A senior official on Sunday called on heads of Chinese religious groups to unite patriotic religious figures and followers to make greater contribution to the country's reform and modernization and the building of a harmonious socialist society.
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body of the country, said at a seminar with heads of religious groups that the religious groups in China made progress in their own development last year.
While conducting wider exchanges with the religious communities of other countries, the Chinese religious groups worked hard against the infiltration from outside the country under the disguise of religion, and thus made positive efforts for safeguarding social stability and national security, Jia said. He extended Spring Festival greetings to all religious figures and followers throughout the country on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and General Secretary Hu Jintao.
In the year of 2006, Jia said, the work of religious affairs will be focused on uniting the broad masses of followers to contribute to the country's modernization drive, while resisting the outside infiltration under the disguise of religion. For the healthy development of the religious community in China, Jia called on religious groups to intensify training of the clergy, especially the middle-aged and young, saying it is a pressing job.
(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2006)