Chinese Religious Affairs, as seen from the U.S. – and probably other countries as well.
The following is from the Global Legal Monitor, obtained from the Law Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/china-revised-regulations-on-religious-affairs/
(Nov. 9, 2017) On September 7, 2017, China’s State Council released a revised version of the Religious Affairs Regulations (Regulations), which will take effect on February 1, 2018; the Standing Committee of the State Council adopted the Regulations on June 14, 2017. (Zhonghua Renmin Gonghe Guo Guowu Yuan Ling Di 686 Hao: Zongjiao Shiwu Tiaoli [Decree No. 686 of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China: Religious Affairs Regulations] (Aug. 26, 2017), State Council website.) The Regulations are formulated with the stated goals of ensuring citizens’ freedom of religious belief, maintaining religious and social harmony, and regulating the administration of religious affairs. (Religious Affairs Regulations 2017, CHINA LAW TRANSLATE (unofficial translation) (limited access).) Compared to the last version of the Regulations, which were released in November 2004 and took effect in March 2005, the revised version has amended, added, and abridged several provisions on general principles, religious groups, religious schools, venues for religious activities, religious professionals, religious activities, religious assets, and legal responsibility (Regulations.)
The Regulations specify in Chapter I that citizens are entitled to the right of freedom of religious belief. (Id. art. 2 ¶ 1.) In the revised Regulations, an article is added stating that the management of religious affairs should adhere to the principles of protecting legitimate religious activities, curbing and preventing illegal and extreme practices, resisting infiltration, and fighting crime. (Id. art. 3.) Another new article prohibits individuals and organizations from creating contradictions and conflict between different religions, within a single religion, or between religious and non-religious citizens; from advocating, supporting, or funding religious extremism; and from using religion to undermine ethnic unity, divide the nation, or carry out terrorist activities. (Id. art. 4.)
I have to say, if this is the kind of stuff our leaders in the U.S. are reading, it’s no wonder that they don’t know what’s going on. And that’s assuming they even care enough to read this! If they really cared about religion as much as some of them claim to, they’d be reading something else entirely. For instance, the sources I’ve gone to in researching this section. They’re all on the web. Freely available.
And yet, they paint a very different picture than the summary above. I dare say, many people don’t go past the summary from the Global Legal Monitor. But even if they do, things don’t get much better.
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