5 main religions in China agree to sinicize

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/7 14:03:39

Leaders of China's five main religious groups have vowed Wednesday to sinicize their religions by integrating religious doctrines into Chinese culture, a move experts said could make religions prosperous and healthy in China.

Leaders from five religious communities - Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity - reached a consensus at a forum that "the direction of religions is to integrate them with Chinese culture."

The forum themed "Chinese culture and religious sinicization" was held in Beijing on Wednesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Although Christianity has already been sinicized in terms of sovereignty, the sinicization in theology and cultural denotation is yet to be achieved, Fu Xianwei, chairman of the China Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches, said at the forum.

Chinese believers in Christianity can understand it in the context of Chinese culture, language and thought, Fu said.

According to Shen Guiping, a religious expert at the Central Institute of Socialism, sinicization means sinicizing Christianity in every aspect, including doctrines, cultural customs, morality and culture.

But, Shen told the Global Times that "Christianity currently follows the rule of indigenization but it doesn't necessarily implement sinicization. The ideas of 'evangelism, the Great Commission and cultural mandate' are used with the aim to reshape China, Chinese culture and ideologies."

Catholicism in China is preparing the five-year plan of the religion's sinicization to guide local churches, said Ma Yinglin, chairman of the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China, the China News Service reported.

Catholicism in China has been seeking to sinicize the religion in terms of priesthood, system, protocol and oratorio since the founding of China, Ma said.

"Only by sinicizing religion can Islam be prosperous and healthy," Mu Kefa, deputy chairman of the China Islamic Association, said during the forum. Islam will be alert to extremism and terrorism, he said.

The goal of sinicizing the religion actually is to guard against "desinicization" in Islam, a trend of misleading use of the halal concept, Shen said, adding that if a religion is simply copied in other nations, it's a backset.

"A good religion fosters openness and desire to learn new information. Religion should not be self-centered and constrained to its own doctrines," Chen Qijia, a professor from the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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