China appoints new Religious Affairs Bureau chief who considers ‘erasing religion’
The Chinese regime has announced a new director of religious affairs.
Cui Maohu was appointed on June 7 to succeed Wang Zuoan, who had been director since September 2009. Prior to that, Wang served as deputy director under former director Ye Xiaowen, who was in charge of the office from March 1998 to September 2009. .
Both Ye and Wang are under investigation by the international community for carrying out brutal persecution against believers in China.
Although Cui is considered to be familiar with the methods of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to handle religious and Tibet-related issues, due to his previous appointment as vice-governor of Yunnan province where many Tibetans live, the curriculum vitae of the new director shows no connection with the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the regime unlike his two predecessors.
The UFWD makes a special effort to maintain the party’s influence over China’s religious, ethnic and foreign affairs, with Tibetans being one of the target groups of its work.
The CCP works through the UFWD to expand the sphere of influence of its guiding socialist ideologies by maintaining a global network of elite capture influence which it uses to infiltrate or gain influence in Chinese society and the international community.
It remains to be seen what Cui’s approach to monitoring religion will be, though he is tied to the one-party state’s anti-religious ideology.
Eliminate all beliefs
The Epoch Times previously reported that the CCP’s ultimate goal is to destroy the world’s religions and spiritual belief systems.
Toronto resident He Lizhi, a former civil engineer in Beijing, recalled a brainwashing video he was made to watch while in detention for his belief in Falun Gong in China.
Falun Gong is a self-improvement practice rooted in Chinese culture and Buddhist traditions. It teaches adherents to live by the universal principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. In 1999, the CCP launched a campaign of murderous persecution against Falun Gong, continuing its legacy of persecuting religious traditions that believe in an intelligent Creator.
The video shows Ye Xiaowen, then head of religious affairs, revealing the CCP’s intentions towards religious and belief groups, “the erasure of religion, not only in China but around the world, and the elimination of the concept of God of people’s minds”.
The comments were made during a “theoretical lecture” Ye gave to senior Party officials as he outlined the regime’s case while trying to convince them that “eradicating Falun Gong was what the Party had to do to achieve his ultimate goal.”
Mr. He recalled, “Xiaowen explained that the reason the Chinese regime still had religious freedom in its constitution was to use it as a temporary ‘deceptive’ tactic…to alienate the younger generations from their parents through atheist education… and finally to eradicate all beliefs.
Many voices in the international community have long condemned the CCP for depriving the Chinese people of their right to freedom of belief. However, the regime, while committing human rights abuses at home on the world stage, has consistently denied accusations that it restricts religious freedoms at home, despite tens of thousands of testimonies to the contrary.
According to a 2019 report by Thomas F. Farr, president of the DC-based Institute of Religious Freedom, Director Ye had offered Congress in 2002 his assurances that “religious freedom was not in jeopardy in China” under the CCP regime and that “parents were, in fact, free to teach religion to their children.
Farr wrote, “There was a half-truth in Xiaowen’s assurance: parents could teach their children surreptitiously, but the consequences of being caught imparting, for example, Catholic teaching on matters such as religious freedom for all, the equal dignity of all people created in the image and likeness of God, or the evil of abortion, were serious.
Political Task Directed by the Office: “Sinicization of Religion”
The Bureau of Religious Affairs is also the bureau tasked in 2015 with carrying out “Sinicization of religion”, which, in the words of party leader Xi Jinping, means “upholding the principle of the development of religions in the Chinese context”. and to provide active guidance for the adaptation of religions to socialist society.
Cai Xia, a party insider who was previously a teacher at the elite CCP Central Party school in Beijing, previously explained in a Posting on Twitter that the “sinicization of religion” allows the CCP to install Chinese religious leaders as part of “its propaganda machinery to aid in brainwashing and population control – Buddhist, Taoist, Catholic, Christian or Islamic” .
As for the Falun Gong religious system, which originated in China, the CCP believed it had an easy target to eradicate, due to what was at the time limited awareness and understanding of the faith outside of the Chin. However, despite a brutal eradication campaign, Falun Gong adherents in China have resisted the regime’s attempts to separate them from their beliefs.
Former Director Ye and Deputy Director Wang remain charged with incitement, instigation, conspiracy, ordering, planning, and/or aiding and abetting torture, genocide, and other violations of the human rights of Falun Gong adherents.
During a visit to the United States on June 5, 2006, each of the men was issued a civil subpoena by a US court for the serious allegations.
Haizhong Ning and Melanie Sun contributed to this report.