China Wants to Replace Superstition With Science

'Liberate' 100M believers from ideas on sickness and fortune
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2013 4:00 PM CDT
China Wants to Replace Superstition With Science
Spiritual group Falun Gong is banned from practicing in China.   (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

China is getting more religious—and the Chinese government is none too happy about it. The government is now looking to "liberate" its people from superstitious beliefs about things like health and money to bring the population more in line with the country's official atheist stance, Reuters reports. "Religion basically upholds peace, reconciliation and harmony ... and can play its role in society," Wang Zuoan, the head of the State Administration of Religious Affairs told a local newspaper in a rare comment on religious policy, "But due to various complex factors, religion can become a lure for unrest and antagonism."

"For a ruling party which follows Marxism, we need to help people establish a correct world view and to scientifically deal with birth, aging, sickness and death, as well as fortune and misfortune, via popularizing scientific knowledge," said Wang. But that might prove difficult in a country with at least 100 million religious believers, many of whom—such as Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims —are already at odds with the ruling party and practice their religions in secret. (More China stories.)

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