China deploys Confucius in bid to boost religion controls

May 28
China is running five-day Confucian culture immersion courses for religious leaders in the sage”s hometown as part of a campaign to extend government control over faith communities through a process of sinicisation.
The ruling Communist Party”s United Work Front Department said in a news release issued Monday that the activity was designed to ensure the primacy of traditional Chinese values above all.
President Xi Jinping has been cracking down on religious practices, especially those seen as foreign such as Christianity and Islam, while elevating home-grown Confucianism, whose values have underpinned Chinese culture for centuries.
While for decades the officially atheistic Communist Party attacked Confucius as a symbol of feudalism, he has been thoroughly rehabilitated in recent years as a means of rallying patriotism and countering foreign influences.

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