The State Council issued revised regulations on religious affairs yesterday and the new law will come into effect on February 1, 2018, reported Xinhua News, China's official press agency.
The agency said that the 2005 regulations played a big part in protecting freedom of religious belief, constructing a positive and healthy relationship among religions, and upholding religious and social harmony. Recent years have seen extensive changes in international and domestic situations, which has generated new conditions and new problems in the religious community. For that reason there was a need to revise the old rules.
One house church pastor commented that there were a lot of changes in the new rules, compared with the old version, worthy of attention.
Under the current rules, the religious affairs department of the people's government at or above the county level shall, in accordance with the law, exercise administration of religious affairs that involve State or public interests. The principle of "protecting the legal, stopping the illegal, containing the extreme, resisting infiltration, and combating crimes" is also stated.
The new regulations claim to strengthen the supervision and administration of religious property and to regulate the religious message services on the Internet.
- Translated by Karen Luo