Recently, the Zhejiang Ethnic and Religious Affairs Commission formulated the "Administrative Measures for the Registration and Cancellation of Religious Activity Venues in Zhejiang Province (for Trial Implementation)", which took effect on January 1, 2022.
The measures are enacted based on the Regulations on Religious Affairs revised in 2017, the Regulations on Religious Affairs of Zhejiang Province launched in 2019, and the Administrative Measures for Religious Groups which came into force in 2020, according to the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The document contains 17 articles, mainly covering the purpose of the measures, scope of application, management principles, establishment conditions, establishment procedures, provision of materials, registration and issuance, conditions for cancellation, cancellation procedures, cancellation according to law, property liquidation, and information management.
The establishment procedure is divided into three steps: preparation for the establishment, establishment permit, registration, and issuance of certificates. (Each step is detailed and practical according to the requirements of the document. It is stipulated that the religious affairs department shall not agree to register if the religious groups haven’t gained establishment permission.)
Cancellation of registration includes two cases: cancellation by religious affairs departments in accordance with law and religious groups applying for cancellation.
Article 10 of the Measures reads, "If a religious organization fails to apply for cancellation of registration in accordance with the Measures and still fails to do so within the prescribed time limit after being informed by the religious affairs department, the original registration management agency may cancel its registration in accordance with the law."
The following article adds, "After its administrative penalty of revoking the registration certificate of religious activity sites in accordance with the Regulations on Religious Affairs takes effect, the religious affairs department shall notify the religious organization to go through the procedures for cancellation of registration within the specified time limit. The original registration management agency may cancel the registration according to the law if it fails to do so within the prescribed time limit. "
When handling the cancellation of the registration, property liquidation shall be carried out to clarify the creditor’s rights, debts, and remaining property. The legal surplus property belonging to a religious group, or a religious activity site shall be used by the corresponding religious groups for undertakings consistent with its purpose; if it is illegally possessed and used, it shall be disposed of in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. After the registration of a religious activity site is canceled, its original houses and buildings can no longer be used for religious activities in the name of a religious activity venue.
- Translated by Abigail Wu