Image credit: @trey333.
A top Chinese official has called for the country to abandon superstitious beliefs about things like sickness and death, according to Reuters.
Wang Zuoan, head of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, told the Study Times, a newspaper published by the Central Party School:
For a ruling party which follows Marxism, we need to help people establish a correct world view and to scientifically deal with birth, ageing, sickness and death, as well as fortune and misfortune, via popularising scientific knowledge.
But we must realise that this is a long process and we need to be patient and work hard to achieve it.
Religion has been around for a very long time, and if we rush to try to push for results and want to immediately ‘liberate’ people from the influence of religion, then it will have the opposite effect and push people in the opposite direction.
Wang admitted that the total number of believers in the country is probably higher than the official estimate of 100 million. About half of religious Chinese are Buddhists or Daoists, with the other half mostly Christian or Muslim.
While Wang’s comments have been viewed with trepidation by believers who remember the anti-religious purges of the Cultural Revolution, a push for more scientific rigour and less superstitious bullshit is to be welcomed in a country where fortune tellers and magical-endangered-animal-parts peddlers are able to make a decent living.