The new measures will be implemented starting from February 1, 2020. Activities, rallies, programs of religious communities must have the approval of the Religious Affairs Office. Religious organizations must "spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party" by educating "religious staff and religious citizens to support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party".
Beijing (AsiaNews) - As of February 1, 2020, new administrative measures will be put in place for Chinese religious groups. According to a communication published by Xinhua, published yesterday, they complete the "Regulations on religious affairs" revised two years ago and implemented on February 1, 2018.
The text of the "Administrative measures for religious groups" published by Xinhua consists of six chapters and 41 articles dealing with the organization, functions, offices, supervision, projects and economic administration of communities and groups at both a national and local level. Every aspect of the life of religious communities - from formation, gatherings to annual and daily projects - is subject to approval by the government's religious affairs department.
In addition to widespread control of all community activities, the new measures require religious personnel to support, promote and implement total submission to the Chinese Communist Party among all members of their communities.
Art. 5 states that "religious organizations must adhere to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, observe the constitution, laws, regulations, ordinances and policies, adhere to the principle of independence and self-government, adhere to the directives on religions in China, implementing the values of socialism ... ".
Art. 17 demands even more: "Religious organizations must spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as national laws, regulations, rules to religious personnel and religious citizens, educating religious personnel and religious citizens to support the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, supporting the socialist system, adhering to and following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics ... ".
A Chinese Catholic priest commented: "In practice, your religion no longer matters, if you are Buddhist, or Taoist, or Muslim or Christian: the only religion allowed is faith in the Chinese Communist Party."