mandag 10. januar 2022

Xi’s ‘Communism With Chinese Characteristics’ Has Triggered A Religious Revival

Since the dawn of the 20th century, China has been deeply concerned about the place of religion in the country’s society and politics. Both the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist party tended to associate religion with China’s corrupt, inefficient and feudal past presided over by a series of Emperors claiming a divine right to rule. Therefore, both the nationalist KMT led by Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek, and the Communists led by Mao Zedong, wanted religion to be replaced by a system of values more suited to modern times and their particular revolutionary objectives.

While the Nationalist KMT opted for Western ideals, the Communist Party preferred Marxist thought. But with the emergence of Xi Jingping as the Supremo in 2013, and the enunciation of his concept of “Communism with Chinese characteristics” there has been a significant revival of religions albeit under the condition that their practice is within the bounds clearly laid by the Communist Party and the State. Xi has not obliterated the past, but is trying to weave the past with the present and his vision of the future of China.

Commenting on this, Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer says in his 2018 paper entitled: “China’s Religious Awakening After Mao” that “it will be no exaggeration to say that China is undergoing a spiritual revival similar to the Great Awakening in the United States in the 19th century.”