China’s Leaders Signal Shift in Tactics Toward Religion – Edward Cody
From The Washington Post, via Daily Herald news services:
There was Hu Jintao, head of the Chinese Communist Party, warmly shaking hands at a party-sponsored New Year’s tea party with one of the country’s main Christian leaders. To make sure the message got through to China’s 68 million party faithful, a large photograph of the moment was splashed across the front page of the official party newspaper, People’s Daily.
Hu’s display of holiday courtesy to Liu Bainian, general secretary of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, was one in a series of recent signals that China’s rulers, despite the party’s official atheism, are seeking to get along better with the increasing numbers of Chinese who find solace and inspiration in religion. The shift in tactics does not mean the Politburo has embraced religion, specialists cautioned, but it indicates a desire to incorporate believers into the party’s quest for continued economic progress and more social harmony. [Full Text]
[Image source: Duowei.com]