Home / Understanding big issues

Government mulls update to regulations

By Xu Wei (China Daily)

Updated: 2016-03-09 08:41:45


China is revising regulations this year to better protect the interests of religious groups and curb extremism, according to faith leaders.

Any amendments would constitute the first revision of the Regulations on Religious Affairs, drafted by the State Administration on Religious Affairs, since their adoption in March 2005.

Huang Xinyang, vice-president of the Taoist Association of China, said the first draft of the newly amended regulations had been drawn up following several rounds of discussion with various religious groups. He predicted that the regulations could be enacted within the next nine months.

"We expect the new regulations to thwart fraud perpetrated in the name of religion," said Huang on the sidelines of a panel discussion of the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on Friday.

He used as an example a problem that the Taoist association is currently facing-fraudsters, pretending to be adherents of Taoism, who camp out in front of the association's Baiyun Temple headquarters and attempt to scam believers out of money.

"Right now, we can't do anything about it," said Huang.

Zhu Weiqun, head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, confirmed on Saturday that the first draft of the new regulations had been formulated, and that opinions were still being solicited as a priority.

"There have been new developments in the past few years, including the flow of religious believers from the western to the eastern provinces seeking job opportunities," said Zhu, who described the new regulations as more detailed than the previous version.

For Fu Xianwei, chairman of the China Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches, an update to the regulations was welcome to better reflect the increased number of believers in the country and the advancement of religious causes.

"I believe the revision will help different religions to better adapt to China's socialist society," he said.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page