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18 October 2017

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09/12/2017 CHINA

Wang Zuoan: foreign religions are “infiltrating” and threatening China

The head of the Religious Affairs Bureau defends new regulations on religious activities. Religious discussions on the internet and "illegal" religious meetings represent a “danger”.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - China is facing heightened threats from “foreign infiltration” via religion and from the spread of extremism, said Wang Zuoan, head of China's Religious Affairs Bureau as he defended new rules passed last week.

In an article published today in the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, Wang said that the revision was urgently needed because "the foreign use of religion to infiltrate (China) intensifies by the day and religious extremist thought is spreading in some areas."

"Issues with religion on the internet are starting to break out . . . and illegal religious gatherings in some places continue despite bans," he added.

In recent decades, China has seen an impressive religious revival. Despite prohibitions, the obligation to teach atheism, and the ban on Party members on joining religious groups , at least 85 per cent of the Chinese population has some religious belief.

China’s constitution guarantees religious freedom for every citizen, but de facto allows only "normal" religious activities for five groups: Taoists, Buddhists, Muslims, Protestants, and Catholics.

The "normal" nature of their activities is guaranteed by complete government control at all levels: national, provincial, county, city, and village.

The new regulations include controls on religious personnel, gathering places, activities, foreign travels, and community economics.

For Wang, “freedom of religious faith is not equal to religious activities taking place without legal restrictions".






See also

19/09/2011 CHINA
Shanxi: allegedly corrupt priest defended by Religious Affairs Bureau
The rector of Montecorvino Seminary was removed for allegedly embezzling funds earmarked for the institution. However the Religious Affairs Bureau is trying to reinstate him and so stopped the start of the new school year.

23/12/2014 CHINA
As more than 400 crosses are destroyed in Zhejiang, violence spreads to Henan, Shandong, and Anhui
In the latest incident of its kind, the cross of a Protestant Church in Dingqiao was torn down on 19 December. Some members of the local congregation were injured trying to stop the destruction. On 18 December, the cross of a church of Nanle (Henan) was also destroyed and 4 million yuan saved by parishioners to build more churches were seized. The "Three Rectifications and One Demolition" campaign targets mainly sacred buildings.

24/09/2009 VIETNAM
Hue archbishop slams police for violence in Loan Ly
Mgr Étienne Nguyên Nhu Thê is outraged and bewildered by the ‘arbitrariness and violence” shown by the authorities in relation to an issue involving a religious group that was handled without consulting religious leaders.

20/04/2007 CHINA
Patriotic Church bishop critically ill
The controversial prelate has been ill for several years. Many faithful have often avoided him because of his anti-Vatican views. In public life he has taken on many functions but China’s Catholic Patriotic Association has been preparing his succession for some time.

01/09/2006 CHINA – VATICAN
Church endures economic persecution as the Patriotic Association tries to seize Church property
Church property, which the government has said it will return, is estimated to be worth 13 billion euros. But the Religious Affairs Bureau, the Patriotic Association and local governments freely dispose of it and its revenues.


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