China's Major Religions Plan to Sinicize

Global Times: 5 main religions in China agree to sinicize
Leaders from five religious communities - Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity - reached a consensus at a forum that "the direction of religions is to integrate them with Chinese culture."

The forum themed "Chinese culture and religious sinicization" was held in Beijing on Wednesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Although Christianity has already been sinicized in terms of sovereignty, the sinicization in theology and cultural denotation is yet to be achieved, Fu Xianwei, chairman of the China Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches, said at the forum.

Chinese believers in Christianity can understand it in the context of Chinese culture, language and thought, Fu said.

According to Shen Guiping, a religious expert at the Central Institute of Socialism, sinicization means sinicizing Christianity in every aspect, including doctrines, cultural customs, morality and culture.

But, Shen told the Global Times that "Christianity currently follows the rule of indigenization but it doesn't necessarily implement sinicization. The ideas of 'evangelism, the Great Commission and cultural mandate' are used with the aim to reshape China, Chinese culture and ideologies."

Catholicism in China is preparing the five-year plan of the religion's sinicization to guide local churches, said Ma Yinglin, chairman of the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China, the China News Service reported.

Catholicism in China has been seeking to sinicize the religion in terms of priesthood, system, protocol and oratorio since the founding of China, Ma said.

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