The Chinese government has drafted new restrictions in an effort to stunt the growth and influence of foreign religions including Islam and Christianity, outraging many in the faith-based community.
According to persecution watchdog China Aid, the new set of religious restrictions are scheduled to be officially enacted in early October, and seek to “suppress all unofficial religious activities via dispersing Christian house churches, silencing Tibetan and Xinjiang separatists and undermining the Vatican’s influence on Chinese Catholics.”
In its current form, the draft contains nine chapters and 74 articles, some of which include prohibitions on “organizing citizens to attend religious trainings, conferences and activities abroad,” “preaching, organizing religious activities, and establishing religious institutions or religious sites at schools,” and “providing religious services through the internet.”
The articles warn against the influence of foreign powers, imposing restrictions on “accepting teaching posts in foreign countries” and “organizing religious activities in unapproved religious sites.” China Aid notes that these particular restrictions are meant to hinder house churches and reduce contact with organizations outside of the government-controlled Chinese churches.
The articles also protect against religious extremism and terrorism, expressing concern regarding the infiltration of religious proselytisation into national education by a number of groups, notes the East Asia Forum. Full report