A state councillor has called on officials to improve their religious work to safeguard national unity and social stability. Ismail Amat, who heads the State Nationalities Affairs Commission, told cadres in Zhejiang they should pay equal attention to religious and economic work, Xinhua (the New China News Agency) said. Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity, including Catholicism, have grown rapidly in the province in recent years, attracting hundreds of thousands of converts. Mr Amat visited the Puji temple, a Buddhist landmark, during his tour of Zhejiang. He also told cadres that religions should be regulated and practitioners must support socialism and abide by the law. Foreign groups have accused local cadres who fear loss of control in villages of increasing surveillance of religious activity in the past few months. They said in some Zhejiang villages, churches run by unauthorised ministers and priests more than doubled the number of official churches.