New religious regulations come into effect in China

New religious regulations come into effect in China

China’s religious laws will be tightened today in an attempt to curb the country’s growing Christian population—now expected to outnumber Communist Party membership. The country’s history of religious oppression dates back to the rule of Mao when almost all worship was banned. Although not currently outlawed, religion is still subjected to severe regulation. Last month,

china uighurs

Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty

China’s religious laws will be tightened today in an attempt to curb the country’s growing Christian population—now expected to outnumber Communist Party membership.

The country’s history of religious oppression dates back to the rule of Mao when almost all worship was banned. Although not currently outlawed, religion is still subjected to severe regulation. Last month, authorities tore down an unregistered church, one of many secretly built across the country to avoid prosecution.

The regulations which go into effect today place further restrictions on such churches regarding their location and financing. Accompanying these changes is the prohibition of religious teaching and an increase in state oversight. Last year, members of the Communist Party were also banned from having a religious affiliation.

Most officials regard the worship of a higher power as a direct threat to the party. Therefore, as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power to a level comparable to Mao, expect religion to further fall into the state’s crosshairs.

Delve deeper: The Chinese Communist Party Congress: Xi ascendant?

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