President Hu Jintao reiterated Wednesday the country's policy of free religious belief while stressing the law-abiding management of religious affairs and support for the self-governance of religious groups.
Hu, who is also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was speaking at a meeting of the members of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee during their second study of 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 traditions and contribute to the development of Chinese society and the unification of the motherland, he said.
The management of religion will be based on human understanding, he said, adding that 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 the CPC will help and support religious groups to improve self-governance, voice the opinions of their followers and protect their legal rights and interests.
The CPC recognizes that religions were a constant in the Chinese socialist society, he said.
To properly understand and manage 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 in all respects, he said.
"We shall fully understand the new problems and challenges to correctly manage religious affairs," he said.