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Religious freedom protected in Xinjiang

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-02 07:19

A white paper released on Thursday said that China has fully implemented a policy of freedom of religious belief in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, protecting normal religious activities and ensuring the public's freedom of religious belief.

The normal religious needs of local people have been addressed, according to the white paper titled Human Rights in Xinjiang - Development and Progress, which was issued by the State Council Information Office.

Xinjiang has published translations of the religious classics of Islam, Buddhism and Christianity in multiple languages, it said, adding that 1.76 million copies of the Quran and Selections from Al-Sahih Muhammad Ibn-Ismail al-Bukhari have been printed and distributed.

Religious organizations have organized training courses on religious knowledge and etiquette for citizens with religious beliefs.

"The legitimate rights of religious organizations have been effectively safeguarded," the white paper read.

Xinjiang has 112 religious organizations, which receive help from the government to allow them to play a broader role, it said.

Steady improvements have been made in the training system to cultivate clerics, by offering systematic training, enhancing their overall qualities and raising religious organizations' capacity for self-management, the white paper said.

It noted that overseas religious exchanges have been conducted in increasing depth. Xinjiang's religious circles have sent delegations to international academic exchanges and seminars, and its clerics and students at religious institutes have won prizes in competitions for reciting the Quran.

Since 2001, Xinjiang has sent more than 70 clerics and students from the Islamic Institute to study at institutions of higher learning in Egypt, Pakistan and other countries, and has set up scholarships to support those who achieve outstanding performance, the white paper said.

Moreover, the local government has implemented a policy for planning and organizing pilgrimages to Mecca, and has strengthened services to ensure that all such pilgrimages are safe and orderly, it said.

The white paper also noted that over 40 percent of civil servants in Xinjiang were of ethnic minority origin in 2016.

There were 91,076 ethnic civil servants in Xinjiang last year, with more than 66 percent of them women. The figure represented a huge increase from about 3,000 in 1950, it said. In 1955, some 46,000 civil service officials were of ethnic minority origin.


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