Chinese Taoist Association

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Chinese Taoist Association (CTA ; Chinese: 中国道教协会), founded in April 1957, is the main association of Taoism in the People's Republic of China. It is recognized as one of the main religious associations in the People's Republic of China, and is overseen by the State Administration for Religious Affairs. Dozens of regional and local daoist associations are included in this overarching group, which is encouraged by the government to be a bridge between Chinese Taoists and the government, to encourage a patriotic merger between Taoism and government initiatives.[1] The group also disseminates information on traditional Taoist topics, including forums and conferences. The association was a major sponsor of the 2007 International Forum on the Tao Te Ching.[2] The Chinese Taoist Association advocates the recompensation of losses inflicted on Taoism by the Cultural Revolution. Taoism was banned for several years in the People's Republic of China during that period.

Taoist practitioners in China are required to register with the Chinese Taoist Association in order to be granted recognition and official protection. The CTA exercises control over religious doctrine and personnel, and dictates the proper interpretation of Taoist doctrine.[3] It also encourages Taoist practitioners to support the Communist Party and the state. For example, a Taoist scripture reading class held by the CTA in November 2010 required participants to ‘‘fervently love the socialist motherland [and] uphold the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.’’[3] The central government of China has supported and encouraged the Association, along with other official religious groups, in promoting the "harmonious society" initiative of Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao.[4]

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