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China struggles to ban superstition

Posted on Thursday, 25 April, 2013 | Comment icon 42 comments

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The process of banishing superstitious belief in China has proven to be more difficult than expected.

According to the head of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, Wang Zuoan, the number of people in China who hold religious beliefs has skyrocketed in recent years. Officially an atheist country, authorities in China have been attempting to play down such beliefs, however the task is proving to be far from easy.

"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 popularizing scientific knowledge," said Zuoan. "But we must realize that this is a long process and we need to be patient and work hard to achieve it."

"China is struggling to get its estimated 100 million religious believers to banish superstitious beliefs about things like sickness and death, the country's top religious affairs official told a state-run newspaper."

  View: Full article |  Source: Yahoo! News

  Discuss: View comments (42)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #33 Posted by redhen on 16 May, 2013, 2:36
Just to balance things out a bit. Here's a recent news story on Allegedly it cures cancer and hangovers. Rhino horns are so prized that they are being stolen from museums. Frank can you give us any insights on this? All I can say is .
Comment icon #34 Posted by Mr Walker on 16 May, 2013, 10:27
One feels sorry for the rhinos of course, but man o man that rhino horn is the ultimate aphrodisiac. A pinch of it mixed with ginseng and that tibetan fungus, and a ninety year old bloke can service 6 nubile young women in one night (before dropping dead of a heart attack) No wonder rhinos are at risk of extinction, especially the black rhino, whose horn naturally gives even greater sexual stamina. How did I go? Is there any group i managed NOT to offend? I think I managed ageist, sexist and racist, along with all animal rights groups..
Comment icon #35 Posted by redhen on 17 May, 2013, 1:35
Yup, the poaching group, the rhino horn consumer group, and the governments that turn a blind eye.
Comment icon #36 Posted by Frank Merton on 24 May, 2013, 12:15
It's a stupid superstition and I wish the government here would do more about it beyond just denouncing it in the schools.
Comment icon #37 Posted by Frank Merton on 24 May, 2013, 12:32
There is a good deal of freedom of religion in Vietnam for the older groups, such as of course the five Buddhists sects and the Roman Catholics. Caodaism, in spite of its militaristic anti-Communist history, is now tolerated albeit not allowed to proselytize. Other religions present in the big cities are standard Protestants, Jews, Hindus and even a few Muslims. You see very little of what could be called "atheist" propaganda -- in fact the media tends to take a position of general approval of the good things in religions and not mention atheism. Foreign missionaries have a hard... [More]
Comment icon #38 Posted by Frank Merton on 24 May, 2013, 12:38
I think it might be good here to mention that there exists an active anti-government propaganda coming out of mainly southern California among Roman Catholic Vietnamese who are still fighting the American War. A lot of the stories about the Vietnamese corruption, sex trade and animal poaching originates in their misinformation. Vietnamese society has these and other problems, but not to the scale of most developing nations, and I see as much corruption in Europe and even in the States as I do in Vietnam.
Comment icon #39 Posted by redhen on 24 May, 2013, 12:40
I'm sure they could. They could levy fines or ban these products all together. Several North American cities have passed by-laws banning for example. "Chinese culture has lauded shark fins alleged properties to boost sexual potency, enhance skin quality, increase one's or energy, prevent heart disease, and lower cholesterol" Shark fin is just tasteless cartilage. But like other animal products, because it is exotic, traditional and requires elaborate preparation, it is highly valued, and an increasing number of Chinese can now afford to show off their conspicuous cons... [More]
Comment icon #40 Posted by Frank Merton on 24 May, 2013, 12:52
I'm aware of a truckload of cobras that was confiscated recently, so I think the government does routinely confiscate products of this sort, as do most governments by international treaty. There has been a considerable crackdown in HCMC recently on the dognapping business (dogs are part of the menu of many Vietnamese, especially those of Chinese descent, but they are supposed to be only animals raised for the purpose). I must admit I was unaware of the rhino trade, and with afterthought begin to suspect it may have been considerably exaggerated. However, the idea of the usefulness of suc... [More]
Comment icon #41 Posted by Mr Walker on 25 May, 2013, 23:07
My mistake, frank. I read "here chinese society" and commented on life in china, where abortion is a state policy and even girl children are regularly killed. While personally oposed to abortion as a basic womans right because it negates another's human right, I support free and legal abortion because the alternative is too horrible. However I think philosophically the right of a child to life supercedes the right of a mother to terminate that child just because she doesnt want it and tha this philosophy should be promoted and taught.. On the other hand I am a supporter of full ... [More]
Comment icon #42 Posted by Mr Walker on 25 May, 2013, 23:14
Unless an animal is endangered, I do not have a problem with using animal products, and hence the killing of animals. I am almost a vegetarian for health and ecological reasons, and i suport the ethical treatment of animals to prevent suffering and cruelty, but the concept of simply not killing other animals, ever, is a human mental construct with no real logical basis and doesn't make sense to me.

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