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CNA: China Plans to Create New Regulations to Restrict Online Religious Information

The primary Taiwanese news agency CNA (The Central News Agency) recently reported that the China National Religious Affairs Bureau is introducing a draft proposal under the name of Administrative Regulations of Internet Religious Information Services. The draft was published on September 10 for general public comments. The full set of the Regulations contains 35 items. The essence of the new Regulations is to require that the provincial or above government must issue a permit before any individual or organization can publish religious information online. Another new restriction is to require the requester to have Chinese citizenship or the requesting organization must be a registered Chinese organization headed by a Chinese citizen. Foreign individuals and organizations are banned from providing any religious information services online. The permit will expire after three years. The new Regulations also restrict the allowed religious “services.” For example, the service cannot “incite” under-aged youth to participate in any religious activities. The service cannot feed live or recorded text, audio or video content about burning incense, ordination, chanting, worship, mass, and receiving baptism. All publishers must use their real names.

Source: CNA, September 11, 2018