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Sinicization, promoting Party propaganda to be new mantra of China’s places of worship

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(TibetanReview.net, Apr08’23) – China is to replace a 2005 “Regulations for the Establishment, Approval, and Registration of Religious Activity Venues” with a new one this year with even more onerous stipulations on their activities. The new regulations would require religious venues throughout China to act as propaganda agents of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with those in the so-called ethnic minority regions being additionally required to Sinicize their practices.

The 2023 “Administrative Measures for Religious Activity Venues,” which will replace those of 2005, have presently been published as a draft for comments, which interested parties may submit by Apr 24, said the bitterwinter.org Apr 7.

As under the 2005 regulations, the new regulations mandate that in order to operate legally, religious venues should be registered with the authorities. What changes is the emphasis on the fact that each place of worship should be an active agency of CPC propaganda, the report said.

Under the new regulations, A place of worship may obtain and continue to maintain a permission to operate only if it “supports the leadership of the CPC, supports the socialist system, carries out an in-depth implementation of Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, abides by the Constitution, laws, regulations, rules and relevant provisions of the management of religious affairs, practices the core values of socialism, adheres to the direction of Sinicization of religion.”

So, it will not be enough for religious venues to refrain from dissent. Rather, the new regulations are said to make it easier to liquidate the religious venues, unless they actively preach “love for the motherland, and support the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system,” the report said.

Priests, pastors, imams, and monks are required to be selected or enrolled on the basis of their “love for the motherland and support for the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system.”

In the case of religious venues in the so-called autonomous ethnic minority areas such as Xinjiang, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia, it is also specified that places of worship should promote “the use of the national [Han Chinese] language and script, promote national unity and progress, and guide religious citizens to enhance national consciousness, civic awareness, awareness of the rule of law, the correct distinction between ethnic customs and religious beliefs, and shall not use religion to interfere with administrative, judicial, educational and social life.”


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