China has started writing new draft guidelines in order to crack down on the "chaotic" and illegal online promotion of religion in the country.
According to Global Times on Tuesday, part of the campaign is to keep worship in line. All organizations engaged in the dissemination of information about religion online will now be obliged to apply for licenses from the religious affairs departments.
The said license will enable them to offer and preach religious training but they will not be allowed to broadcast or live-stream any religious activities. The dissemination of the information regarding religion anywhere other than their own internet platform is also prohibited.
The guidelines also forbid online religious services from inciting subversion, promoting separatism and extremism and opposing the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.
Theoretically, Chinese citizens are free to practice any religion so long as it is officially recognized and allowed by the government. It can be recalled that it had cracked down on unauthorized religious activities with government authorities shutting down a Protestant church in Beijing.
China is known to be under scrutiny for its treatment on Muslim Uighur minority in Xinjiang. Human rights activists accused the government of conducting a punitive crackdown.