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Foreigners' religious activities protected in China according to law: White paper

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-04-03 11:08

BEIJING -- The religious activities of foreigners in China are protected in accordance with the law, according to the white paper "China's Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief" released Tuesday.

The Rules on the Administration of Religious Activities of Foreigners in the People's Republic of China highlights China's respect for the freedom of religious belief of foreigners within its territory, and its commitment to protecting the friendly relations, and cultural and academic exchanges with regards to religion between foreigners and Chinese religious groups, according to the white paper released by the State Council Information Office.

Foreigners may attend religious activities at temples, mosques, churches, and other sites for religious activities. They are also permitted to preach at places of worship when invited to do so by Chinese religious bodies at or above the provincial level, according to the white paper.

Foreigners may hold religious activities attended by foreigners at sites approved by government religious affairs departments at or above the county level. They may invite Chinese clerical personnel to perform baptisms, weddings, funerals, prayers, or other religious services.

They are allowed to carry religious printed text, audio-video products, and other religious articles that conform to relevant regulations when entering Chinese territory, the document said.

Foreigners who conduct religious activities within China shall abide by Chinese laws and regulations, it said.

They shall not establish religious organizations, set up religious offices and sites for religious activities, run religious institutions, or recruit foreign students studying in China without authorization; nor shall they recruit followers, appoint clerical personnel from among Chinese citizens or engage in other missionary activities, the white paper said.

The Law on the Administration of Activities of Overseas Non-Governmental Organizations within China prohibits overseas NGOs from illegally engaging in or sponsoring religious activities.

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