World

President Xi says religions in China must be independent from foreign influences

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency,  Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses a high-level party meeting that sought to unite non-Communist Party groups and individuals in Beijing Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Xi warned that religions must be independent from foreign influence, as the government asks domestic religious groups to pledge loyalty to the state. China is ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party, and Beijing attempts to control a variety of religions and their spread. (Ma Zhancheng/XInhua via AP)  NO SALES

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses a high-level party meeting that sought to unite non-Communist Party groups and individuals in Beijing Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Xi warned that religions must be independent from foreign influence, as the government asks domestic religious groups to pledge loyalty to the state. China is ruled by the officially atheist Communist Party, and Beijing attempts to control a variety of religions and their spread. (Ma Zhancheng/XInhua via AP) NO SALES  (The Associated Press)

President Xi Jinping has warned that religions in China must be independent from foreign influence as Beijing asks domestic religious groups to adapt to Chinese society and pledge loyalty to the state.

China is ruled by the atheist Communist Party and Beijing tries to control a variety of religions and their spread.

Xi made the remarks Wednesday at a high-profile meeting seeking to unite non-Communist Party groups and individuals. His words have been widely reported in state media.

Beijing believes that foreign, hostile forces can use religions to infiltrate Chinese society and eventually subvert the party rule. However, Beijing never clarifies what constitute the foreign forces.