President stresses free religious belief policy

Updated: 2007-12-19 20:09

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday reiterated a policy of free religious belief while stressing law-abiding management on religious affairs and support to self-governance of religious groups.

Hu, also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the statement at a meeting of the members of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee in their second study on religious issues at home and abroad.

"We shall fully carry out the Party's policy of free religious belief and manage the relevant affairs in line with the law," he said.

The Party and government shall encourage believers of all religions to keep their patriotic tradition and contribute to the development of Chinese society and unification of the motherland, he said.

China's management on religion would be based on human understanding, he said, adding mutual respect is a must.

"The Party and government shall reach out to religious believers in difficulties and help them through their problems," he said.

Hu also stressed the training and promotion of religious professionals, saying that the CPC would help and support religious groups to improve self governance, voice the opinions of its followers and protect their legal rights and interests.

The CPC recognized that religions were a constant in the Chinese socialist society, he said.

To properly understand and manage the religious affairs is vital to the work of the Party, the peace and stability of Chinese society and the process to build a moderately prosperous society of all respects, he said.

"We shall fully understand the new problems and challenges to manage religious affairs so that we can do it right," he said.

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