Source: Radio Free Asia
Date: May 10, 2018
China plans to tighten rules on foreigners who practice their religions in China, further violating religious and assembly freedoms, reports Radio Free Asia.
The existing regulations, enforced in 1991, prohibit Chinese citizens from attending gatherings organized by foreign religious groups and ban such organizations from venues, which were not authorized for religious purposes. Foreigners, if not backed by the State, may not preach, teach or train Chinese religious staff and believers, nor can they produce or sell religious products and supplies, including books.
The State Administration of Religious Affairs started consultations this week to further restrict these rules, targeting “collective religious activities” of more than 50 people, organized and attended by foreigners. The trial of a Protestant pastor in the southwestern province of Guizhou, accused of “intentionally disclosing state secrets,” served as a pretext to organize the consultations on tighter rules.
Bitter Winter reports on how religions are allowed, or not allowed, to operate in China and how some are severely persecuted after they are labeled as “xie jiao,” or heterodox teachings. We publish news difficult to find elsewhere, analyses, and debates.
Placed under the editorship of Massimo Introvigne, one of the most well-known scholars of religion internationally, “Bitter Winter” is a cooperative enterprise by scholars, human rights activists, and members of religious organizations persecuted in China (some of them have elected, for obvious reasons, to remain anonymous).