BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party warned party members to stick to Marx and Lenin and not believe in “ghosts and spirits” or practice “liberalism”, in the latest effort to root out superstitious practices and further tighten party control.
China officially guarantees freedom of religion for major belief systems such as Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, but party members are meant to be atheists and are banned from participating in what China calls superstitious practices such as visiting soothsayers.
There have been numerous scandals in recent years where senior party members have been accused of involvement in superstition.
A lengthy statement on how best to strengthen the party’s role and its leadership, issued on the official Xinhua news agency on Wednesday, said Marxism was the guiding thought for China and the party.
“Resolutely prevent not believing in Marx and Lenin and believing in ghosts and spirits, not believing in the truth and believing in money,” the party statement said.
President Xi Jinping said last year the party’s decision to stick with the political theories of Karl Marx remained “totally correct”.
Chinese people, especially the country’s leaders, have a long tradition of putting their faith in soothsaying and geomancy, looking for answers in times of doubt, need and chaos.