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China Religions and Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind:Idea and Practice
March 14,2017   By:CSHRS
China Religions and Building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind:Idea and Practice
 
-- ZHANG Nu delivers a speech on the 34th session of the Human Rights Council

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ZHANG Nu, Deputy Director of Integrated Research Department of China Center for Religious Studies
 
China is a country where multiple religions co-exist harmoniously. Chinese government adheres to the principle of separation between church and state, and emphases on treating all religions equally, that means not to use administrative power to limit or advance any particular religion. There are five major religions in China today: Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, the Catholicism and Protestantism. All of them can claim long history and profound influence in china, with an estimated 200 million Chinese followers in total. Among the five main religions, there are about 5500 religious bodies and 140,000 sites of religious activities, both of which distribute widely across China.
 
The Chinese government has consistently upheld protection of freedom of religion, to which the Chinese Constitution and laws provide firm support as a fundamental human rights. All relevant laws refer to the Constitutional principle on freedom of religion in making stipulations on particular religious affairs. The Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, Article 251 provides the legal basis for handling case of infringement on religious freedom. The article says:“Any state functionary who unlawfully deprives a citizen of his freedom of religious belief or infringes upon the customs and habits of minority nationalities shall, if the circumstances are serious, be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than two years or criminal detention.” In addition, the Regulations on Religious Affairs offer recognition and protection of the rights and interests of the religious organizations and their followers. 
 
Also for the past decades, the Chinese government has dedicated to providing the religious with public service. During the last 10 years, the Chinese central government has invested more than 200 million RMB to support maintaining and upgrading historical temples mosques and churches. Since 2011 this kind of budget has been  risen to 30 million RMB each year,it's more than 4 million us dollars a year. The government agencies help the religious organizations to improve infrastructure of traffic,internet,electricity, and water supply.China's social security system has fully covered the religious, specifically,those qualified clergies are provided with subsistence allowance. It has been commonly recognized in the Chinese religious that the nearly four decades since China's Opening and Reform is the “golden age” for Chinese religions in their long history.  
 
With the effective protection of freedom of religion and the lawful rights and interests of the religious from the Chinese government, the Chinese religious is enabled to play a more effective and important role. The Chinese religious completely approve of the noble ideal of building a community of shared future for mankind, and is ready to be actively involved in this great project.