Many provincial-level and city-level CCC&TSPMs led local churches in studying the revised regulations on religious affairs released on September 7, 2017.
On September 14, 2017, the Pan'an County CCC&TSPM of Jinhua, Zhejiang, organized church and gathering leaders to read through the new regulations in turns and to discuss incomprehensible parts together, according to Xie Zhang of the county CCC&TSPM.
Attendants held that the revisions were more specialized and added with much new content unmentioned in the old version. The experience in local religious work was included in the revisions. The regulations had a clearer definition of the responsibilities and duties of religious bodies and premises, providing evidence for them.
The next day, the members of the Pingnan County CCC&TSPM of Fujian studied the revised regulations. Chen Biyan, director of the county's bureau of ethnic and religious affairs, was invited to interpret the regulations.
Chen decoded the revisions from the perspectives of the revision's background, highlights, and practical implications and proposed guidance to implement the regulations under the current situation.
On the same day the administrative board and pastoral staff of Beijing Chongwenmen Church studied the revision and the thinking laid out in the speeches of Gao Feng, President of the CCC, and Wang Zuoan, head of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, given in the Prince Chun Mansion where China's five major religious leaders talked about the new regulations, reported the church's official WeChat account.
Rev. Liu Cuimin, the senior pastor, led the members in studying the background of the law, the drafting process, and the focus of the revision. She shared the comparison of the old and the new versions.
Some of the administrative board stated that the revision was more comprehensive and made rights and duties more explicit and that the revision was a major event. Two pastors said that the new regulations were practical and related to the clergy and the laity. Preachers should improve themselves and optimize church management to avoid heretical and illegal activities.
On Sept 11, the Jinan CCC&TSPM of Shandong organized the whole staff to read the full text of the revised law and study the article of a press conference answering reporters on the revision published by the State Council.
The meeting gave the attendants a clear understanding of the legal personality of religious bodies and premises, charity campaigns being protected by law, and property ownership of religious bodies and premises.
- Translated by Karen Luo