Authorities plan to use the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding to strengthen political control of Catholics


Communist Party of China
Zhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng
(Photo: Creative Commons)

(Beijing, primarily Hebei Province —March 02, 2021) During this year, as China focuses on the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), authorities plan to use this 100th anniversary of the CCP’s founding to strengthen their political control of Catholics. On February 7, the traditional Chinese New Year holiday, Vice Minister Wang Zuoan of the Central Committee’s United Front Work Department visited the Chinese Patriotic Association and requested that to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Party’s founding, the Catholic Church adhere to patriotism, to the Sinicization of Catholicism. 

Under the supervision and control of the Patriotic Association, an organization linked to the Chinese Communist Party, primarily made of atheist officials, however, this “celebration” fails to nurture faith within Chinese culture. reports:

Catholics are firstly required to deepen “the guidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and the 5th Plenary Session of the 19th National Congress”, as well as assimilate “Xi Jinping’s thinking on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era”, strengthening “our awareness of the need to maintain political integrity, to think in general terms, to follow the heart of the leadership and keep in line with the central Party leadership.”

…2021 will be a period in which the Catholic Church in China must “assimilate” the vision of a “State Church”….

In this political (rather than pastoral) program, the only element vaguely linked to the mission of the Church is that of Sinicization, of bringing Christian theology closer to Chinese culture. And indeed, the program includes the convening of a “Theological Forum on Sinicization, [whose] topics will include rites, sacred music and art, etc.”

Contrary to its façade, Sinicization aligning with the China’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Party’s founding translates to the CCP’s political plan to gain more control over the Catholic Church.

Gao Zhensai, ChinaAid Special Correspondent

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