In recent years, communist China has continued to expand its persecution of religious groups. It was disclosed that the authorities have established a system in which it rates religious sites. Those that have a low score could face a temporary shutdown. If the points continue to fall below the threshold, they will be closed completely.
According to a document that the United Front Work Department of the Henan Provincial Government issued, the authorities have asked officials to rate each religious site from 1 to 5 stars. The document shows that religious sites that scored 95 or more will be rated 5 stars. If the scores are between 50 and 75 for two consecutive years, they will be forced to stop operations for 1 year for internal restructuring and the management will be replaced. If they refuse to make changes or if their score is less than 50 points for two consecutive years, their license will be revoked, which means that they will be completely closed.
The scoring criteria are quite strict and there are numerous ways for points to be reduced. For example, the authorities regard the illuminated cross as a “missionary act.” If a religious place displays signs with neon, a horn, or an illuminated cross, it will lose ten points. If the relevant personnel are unfamiliar with the religious policy, 5 to 10 points will be taken off. If the party members enter the church for personal reasons, 5 points will be taken off. If religious print materials are distributed, 10 points will be taken off.
It is expected that the social credit system will be fully launched and implemented nationwide next year. The rights of the religious personnel could suffer further infringement.
Source: Aboluowang, August 4, 2019