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What is the relationship between rule of law and religion in China?

2015-06-10
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Westerners have long been skeptical of how "atheist-dominated" Communist China has dealt with religion and treated religious people. In the Western system of values, religious freedom is the emblem of human rights. Can China ensure freedom of belief for its citizens, and does the law protect the right to worship? How does China treat the practice of religion?

Although religious belief is a personal matter, the religious figures and followers are also citizens of a nation in the first place. Religious groups, venues and activities involve the public’s benefit, and therefore must comply with the constitutional laws of the country. No one, venue or religion is outside the law.

When looking at a problem involving religion, a thorough analysis must take place: what is the nature of the situation in question? If it is lawful, it should be protected. If it is illegal, it must be resolutely prohibited. If it is criminal, it must be punished to the full extent of the law.

The Chinese government’s attitude toward religion is quite clear: the religious freedom policy is persistently upheld. As a rule of thumb, all religious activities must not violate the constitution. This point is in agreement with the “spirit of the law” of Western nations. AsEnlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau aptly asserts in the

The Social Contract, "Nobody can be above the law."