By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 3: In a resolution passed by major religious organizations in China controlled by the Communist Party, all religious sites must raise the Chinese national flag in what is said to “enhance the national identity”. The mandatory resolution, many say, is the Chinese communist party’s bid to exert control over the religious sphere.
The resolution was passed in Beijing on Tuesday in attendance of heads of organizations and representatives from key religious organizations such as Buddhist Association of China, the Taoist Association of China, the Islamic Association of China, and the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China. Deputy head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs Wang Zuoan attended the meet.
The resolution mandates that the national flag shall be raised at religious venues on National Day, International Labor Day, New Year's Day, Spring Festival, and other important festivals and celebrations of each religion, according to a Global Times
report published on July 31.
“Raising the flag at religious venues abets the strengthening of religious figures’ and religious believers’ national and civic consciousness and creates a sense of the Chinese nation’s community,” a statement issued after the conference said.
The resolution comes days after China was criticised for its religious persecution at the United States Department of State’s ‘Ministerial to advance religious freedom’ last week. The maiden 3-day event in Washington DC was participated by representatives from over 80 countries with over 40 foreign ministers as well as 175 civil society representatives, over 100 religious leaders and survivors of religious persecution from around the world, and especially from regions such as Xinjiang and occupied Tibet.