China bans over­seas do­na­tions, per­son­nel from re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties at tem­po­rary sites

Global Times - Weekend - - NATION -

China re­leased rules on Fri­day to reg­u­late tem­po­rary re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties, ban­ning do­na­tions from over­seas or­ga­ni­za­tions and for­bid­ding for­eign per­son­nel from par­tic­i­pat­ing in tem­po­rary re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties.

The rules, re­leased by China’s State Ad­min­is­tra­tion for Re­li­gious Af­fairs (SARA) on Fri­day, ex­plic­itly state that wor­shipers who con­duct fre­quent group re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties but have not yet qual­i­fied to ap­ply to cre­ate a re­li­gious venue are now able to ap­ply to des­ig­nate a site for tem­po­rary re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties with lo­cal re­li­gious af­fairs de­part­ments.

An ap­pli­ca­tion should be sub­mit­ted by rep­re­sen­ta­tives who have been elected by fol­low­ers, have no crim­i­nal record, pos­sess re­li­gious knowl­edge, and do not hold a sim­i­lar post at a dif­fer­ent site.

Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments in­clud­ing copies of the ci­ti­zen’s house­hold reg­is­ter and per­sonal ID card as well as the proof of own­er­ship or use right of the des­ig­nated fa­cil­ity should be pro­vided with their ap­pli­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to the SARA.

Ap­pli­cants are also re­quired to list the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants and their planned ac­tiv­i­ties. The lo­cal au­thor­i­ties should an­nounce the de­ci­sion within 10 days, reads the doc­u­ment.

Those who have lost their qual­i­fi­ca­tion as re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tors shall not par­tic­i­pate in tem­po­rary ac­tiv­i­ties as one. Ac­cept­ing for­eign do­na­tions, be it from in­di­vid­u­als or or­ga­ni­za­tions, are not al­lowed and for­eign per­son­nel can­not be part of the ac­tiv­i­ties.

It is also for­bid­den to build re­li­gious stat­ues, or to erect re­li­gious signs out­side the tem­po­rary site dur­ing re­li­gious ac­tiv­i­ties.

The site ap­pli­ca­tion, once ap­proved, will be valid for no more than three years, states the guide­line.

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