White paper lays out rules on foreigners’ religious activities in China
April 04,2018   By:chinadaily.com.cn
April 4,2018--A white paper published by the Chinese government on Tuesday has clarified the rules on foreigners’ religious activities in China.
Foreign visitors and residents in the country are welcome to attend religious activities at temples, mosques, churches and other places of worship, according to the white paper on China’s policies and practices on protecting freedom of religious belief.
However, it said foreigners should not establish religious organizations or institutions, set up offices and sites for religious activities, or recruit foreign students in China without authorization. They are also prohibited from recruiting followers, appointing Chinese citizens as clerical personnel or engaging in missionary activities.
Overseas NGOs are also banned from engaging in or sponsoring religious activities in China, the white paper said.
Religions in China will continue to adhere to the principle of independence and self-management, but that does not mean the severing of normal connections between religious organizations in China and foreign counterparts, according to the document.
It said the central government supports and encourages all religions to conduct international exchanges; build, develop and consolidate friendly relations with religious groups overseas; enhance mutual trust and eliminate misgivings; and present a positive image based on independence, equality and mutual respect.
The government will resolutely oppose and deal with foreign organizations and individuals engaging in activities that violate China’s Constitution, laws, regulations and policies, it said.
Attempts to control China’s religious organizations, interfere in the country’s religious affairs and subvert the Chinese government and socialist system under the guise of religion are opposed, the white paper added.
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