Communist Party authorities in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, have launched a campaign to purge members who believe in western religions, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
The city is known as the “Jerusalem of China” for its large number of Christians.
The party aims to tackle problems caused by some grass-roots members who have a hidden religious faith or take part in activities of the Christian community, the report said.
Party members working in education and health care will be the main targets, it said.
Members who are found to have lost their faith in communist ideals and the party’s spirit will be expelled, a document released by the Wenzhou Party Committee said.
In January, the Zhejiang Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection issued a notice calling for party members to uphold the ideals of Marxism and sign a commitment not to believe in religion. Religious believers were to be subjected to education or punishment.
Zhu Weiqun, head of the religion subcommittee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was quoted as saying that all the theories, thoughts and actions of the Communist Party of China are built upon Marx’s dialectical materialism.
Upholding such beliefs, through arduous hard work, the party led the people to achieve the victory of revolution, rather than guiding the people to rely on gods or seek an illusory heaven, Zhu said.
The government issued a blue paper on national security last year. It said that on the ideological front China faces “serious threats” in many areas, including “religious infiltration”.
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