China revises religious regulation to ban foreign donations, influences

Monks at the Kirti Monastery. (Photo courtesy: NYT)
Monks at the Kirti Monastery. (Photo courtesy: NYT)

(, Sep09, 2017) – China’s State Council, the cabinet, has on Sep 7, passed a revised regulation on religious affairs, supposedly to further protect people’s freedom of religious belief but with the main focus on combating what it calls religious extremism and related crimes. The revised regulation aims to deal with newly emerging situations and problems, China’s official Sep 8 quoted the State Council as saying in a statement. It said the new measures will take effect on Feb 1.

Under the revised regulation, religious groups can apply to open new facilities, in which case local governments are required to provide feedback within 30 days. However, no individual or group other than a religious organization is allowed to erect a large-scale religious statue. Statues cannot be erected outdoors outside a religious facility, the statement  was cited as saying.

The report also said that to better protect people who hold religious beliefs, the regulation bans all financial gain from religious facilities and activities. Also the regulation is said to ban religious organization or facility from forcing followers to make donations.

Naturally, the regulation also prohibits the use of religion as a tool to sabotage national security, social order or China’s education system, or to damage ethnic unity or carry out terrorist activities.

The regulation also bans nonreligious or unauthorized facilities from being used to hold religious events.

Also, religious organizations and facilities are barred from receiving donations from foreign organizations or conditional donations. And no religious organization should be under the control of foreign forces, the report said.

The previous regulation on religious affairs was implemented in 2005, the report noted.


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