Religion and the Communist Party
by David De La Torre
In Render unto Caesar, The Economist notes that the Chinese Communist Party may be embarking on a crackdown on religion among party members.
In the absence of official figures on religious believers within the party, Western and Chinese scholars often quote a 2007 survey, carried out by Horizon, a Beijing polling firm, in co-operation with American academics. The poll found that one in six party members had a religious belief. This would equate to more than 13m members today. The vast majority of those are Buddhists. Close to 2m are Christians.
The signals of a harsher approach are coming from Zhu Weiqun, a deputy minister of the party’s United Front Work Department and an influential ideologue, who warned in a December essay in a party journal, Qiushi (Seeking Truth), against the rise of religious believers in the ranks. [more]