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China Imposes New Regulations and Restrictions on Religion

October 10, 2017 by admin

China’s cabinet passed new rules in September 2017 to further regulate and restrict religious practice under the guise of ‘blocking extremism’.

The new rules were controversial amendments to the Regulations on Religious Affairs (RRA) that will extend greater powers to authorities in terms of oversight, as well as the ability of the government to shut down religious organizations that fall outside its approval.

The new measures will add to the already oppressive and unjustifiable restrictions to the Freedom of Religion of the Uyghur people in East Turkestan. They will result in even more state interference, more religious activities banned and more financial penalties on religious organizations. Religious education will also now be under the umbrella of the state, as the Chinese government seeks to control every aspect of religious practice. These new restrictions are set to come into effect on 2 February 2018.

The passing of these new regulations was further compounded by the issuing of a new order from the Chinese police which told all Muslims in East Turkestan to hand in all copies of the Quran to the police, according to Radio Free Asia. Announcements sent by Chinese police via the mobile application WeChat have called on Muslims to voluntarily hand over all Qurans, prayer mats, any religious reading material and any products from Kazakhstan to the police. The announcements stressed that these items should be handed over voluntarily, but if anyone was found with them in their possession at a later date, they would face harsh punishment.

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