Taoist leaders focus on preserving values

Updated: 2013-06-05 13:49

By An Baijie (China Daily)

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The seminar was part of a campaign launched this year by the State Administration for Religious Affairs to "enhance religious discipline".

Wang Zuoan, director of the administration, said in an article in Study Times in April that many temples have been contracted to companies and become a tool to make profits, which should be forbidden.

Religious venues nationwide should try to build harmonious temples and cathedrals, Jiang Jianyong, deputy director of the administration, said at the opening ceremony of the seminar.

In a statement on May 17, Zhoushan city's religious affairs administration in Zhejiang province announced it had punished 11 Taoist workers who violated the discipline. Of those 11, eight were expelled from the temple where they worked.

To better regulate venues, the State administration vowed to enhance discipline. In a notice released in March, it pointed out that many religious venues are too commercialized.

Some religious staff members do not have strong beliefs, they ignore discipline, manipulate religion to collect wealth, pursue fame and gain, and indulge in pleasure and comfort, the notice said.

The authority required the religious venues nationwide to be more dedicated to the development of religion rather than the pursuit of money.

Keeping up with times

Apart from religious discipline, the Taoism seminar also touched on China's religious laws and policies.

Wang, the professor, said religious officials and clergies should have basic political knowledge, from which they can better communicate with the government.

China is a socialist country. Socialism has different meanings in different times and religious people should keep up with the times, he said.

"The core meaning of China's socialism is the reform and opening-up in the 1980s, the Three Represents (put forward by then-president Jiang Zemin) in the 1990s, the Scientific Outlook on Development (put forward by then-president Hu Jintao) in the 2000s, and the 'China Dream' - the rejuvenation of the nation," he said.

Knowing the country's policies well could help religious groups win more support from the government, he said.

Taoist leaders focus on preserving values

Taoist leaders focus on preserving values

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