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China's Provinces Successively Issues Notices on Licensing Internet Religious Information Services

China's Provinces Successively Issues Notices on Licensing Internet Religious Information Services

Internet Internet(Pixabay)
ByMark Cui March 11, 2022
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With Jiangsu Province announcing that the Internet religious information service license examination will be launched in the middle of this month, all provinces in China have successively started the licensing work.

On February 28th, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of Zhejiang Province announced that it would start licensing Internet religious information services in the whole province from March 1st when the Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services came into force. 

The legal person organization or unincorporated organization that intends to engage in Internet religious information service shall apply to the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of Zhejiang Province, which will make a decision of approval or disapproval within 20 days from the date of accepting the application. 

The notice said, "According to the requirement of 'one-stop administrative service' in Zhejiang Province, the Committee will set up Zhejiang Internet religious information service processing area on the official website and conduct online processing."

It continued, "The relevant formalities shall be handled in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services within 6 months from the effective date."

"According to the requirements of the Measures, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of Zhejiang Province plans to hold the "Zhejiang Internet religious information examiner training course", in order to effectively facilitate the applicants' work and effectively improve the examination ability of religious information examiners". Pre-application will be accepted from March 8, 2022.

The training content includes religious policies and regulations, management measures of Internet religious information service, anti-cult knowledge, anti-terrorism knowledge, Internet religious cases, basic knowledge of various religions, and matters related to the application for Internet religious information service license. No training fee is charged, but the trainees will pay for their own transportation, accommodation and meals.

On the same day, Anhui Province also issued a notice on the licensing of Internet religious information services, saying that "the examination of Internet religious information examiners will be carried out in due course".

On March 1st, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of Shandong Province released a similar announcement. It read, "Since March 1st, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of Shandong Province started to accept the application for Internet religious information service license by qualified legal person organizations or unincorporated organizations. The Committee will make a decision within 20 working days from the date of accepting the application, and issue the Internet religious information service license to the applicants who are granted the approval."

The Committee also expressed that training courses for information examiners will be held in waves. The first training course is initially scheduled to be held in the middle and late March. The training class has started accepting pre-applications, and will inform the training time later.

On the same day, Shaanxi Province also announced that it would make a decision of approval or disapproval within 20 days from the date of accepting the license application. The scope of study includes Xi Jinping's thought of rule of law, the Constitution, socialist core values, laws and regulations related to religious affairs, Civil Code, National Security Law, Cyber Security Law, and other related laws, regulations and religious knowledge. The examination content covers but is not limited to the above contents.

On March 3rd, the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of Guangdong Province claimed that the applicants could also make online applications. The Committee will make a decision of approval or disapproval within 20 days from the date of accepting the application.

The Committee will also organize training for religious information examiners, hold several training courses for offline information examiners, and also build an online training system. The self-study materials should include laws and regulations related to religious affairs, other laws and regulations, regulations of religious organizations and religious knowledge, etc.

- Translated by Oliver Zuo

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