China toughens laws in crackdown on foreign religions

Published:  10 May at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Chinese lawmakers are set to further tighten the laws surrounding the practice of foreign religions on Chinese soil.

The regulation of foreign religions and their practices in China has long resulted in Chinese nationals being banned from foreign religious ceremonies, but are now to be tightened further to prevent ‘hostile foreign forces’ from infiltrating the country. China’s State Administration of Religious Affairs is now in consultation over the rules governing expats who practice the Christian religion in China. The government is looking to get input on recently proposed administrative guidelines said to be aimed at ‘protecting the public interest’.

Currently, foreigners are disallowed from teaching or preaching, training or mentoring believers, producing and selling religious books, audio-visual and electronic teaching aids, religious propaganda and any form of missionary activity. The new rules are expected to refer to religious activities including over 50 people which have been organised and attended by foreigners, especially if they’re held at locations with only temporary approval by the authorities. Foreigners attending such meetings must provide details including passport numbers and addresses.

Both Catholic and Protestant church elders are concerned the new rules may be the thin end of the wedge for any form of Christianity in China, especially as regards spreading the gospel to Chinese nationals. At the present time, Chinese protestants number 68 million, 23 million of whom attend state-affiliated churches, with Chinese Catholics numbering nine million. Chinese President Xi Jinping sees Christianity as a ‘dangerous foreign import’ attempting to destabilise both the government and the country.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive