China’s Christian groups told to ensure ‘strict’ oversight of religion as Communist Party controls tighten

by Amber Wang at

Beijing’s top political adviser Wang Huning has urged Chinese Christian groups to ensure “strict” management of religious affairs, seen as the latest effort by the ruling Communist Party to tighten controls on organised religion.

The call from Wang, a member of the party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, came as he met Protestant religious leaders during their once in five years national congress in Beijing last week.

The 11th National Chinese Christian Congress, held over Wednesday and Thursday, elected new leaders for the two state-sanctioned Protestant groups in the country, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China and the China Christian Council run state-approved churches and carry out pastoral work. They aim also to address the needs of faith within a socialist society, by balancing religious belief with allegiance to the party and country.