Friday, March 24, 2017

China Embraces Religion! Really!

Wow! China is embracing religion. “If the people have faith, the nation has hope, and the country has strength,” says China's leader Xi.

The New York Times Review has a terrific essay called "China's Communists Embrace Religion."

Mao crushed most all religion including Confucianism and Buddhism. But now, Buddhism is making a comeback and one endorsed at the highest levels of government.

Christianity has not fared as well, but according to Ian Johnson, the essay's author, Xi is probably "better disposed" to China's traditional religions like Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism than to a foreign religion like Christianity or even Islam.

This is not the only time in Chinese history in which leaders embraced religion. Buddhism played a prominent role in the Tang Dynasty, for example.

Other leaders in other parts of the world also embraced religion.  India's Asoka embraced Buddhism in the 4th Century BCE and Constantine embraced Christianity in the early 4th century CE.

In all these instances, leaders saw religion as a way to strengthen their government, just asXi apparently now sees traditional Chinese religion.

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